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Chesterfield makes first possession arrest after Virginia's partial marijuana legalization

Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 16:00:38-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield man was arrested and charged with a variety of marijuana-related crimes after police searched his Winterpock Road home.

Charles Miller, Jr., 57, is believed to be the first person in Chesterfield to be charged with possession following the state's July 1 partial legalization of marijuana.

Under the new law, adults 21+ are permitted to possess up to four plants per household. Miller, according to police, possessed more than 10 times that amount.

"An officer arrived and found nine plants that appeared to be marijuana plants in the bed of his truck; the plants were not labeled. The complainant, who jointly owns the residence with Miller, reported that additional marijuana plants were inside the house," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson wrote in an email about the arrest. "Inside the house, police found 43 additional plants that appeared to be marijuana plants, as well as roughly 1.5 pounds of bagged material that appeared to be marijuana."

Miller was charged with possession with intent to sell, give or distribute more than 5 pounds of marijuana and possessing more than 49, but no more than 100 marijuana plants.

Prior to the new marijuana law taking effect, Chesterfield Police produced a video that warned people in the county to "read the fine print," when it came to marijuana.

"I think a lot of people think that marijuana just has been legalized wholesale, like throughout the Commonwealth and that's absolutely not true," Chesterfield Police Chief Colonel Jeffery Katz said earlier this summer.

Under Virginia’s marijuana legalization laws, home cultivation of four plants is permitted, if the plants are labeled, out of public view, and away from children.

Virginians 21-years or older are also allowed to gift less than an ounce of marijuana to another person in private.

Smoking marijuana in public, underage marijuana use, and driving during or after using marijuana remain against the law.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.