Virginia AG On Cannabis: ‘It’s Time to Move Toward Legal, Regulated Adult Use’

University of Mary Washington conducted a poll in September that showed 61% of Virginians are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, up from 39% in the last survey conducted in September 2017, according to Virginia Mercury.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is among the 61%, he said in a Tuesday tweet. 

Herring is a Democrat with plans to run for governor in Virginia in 2021.

This is not the first time Herring has shared his position on decriminalizing marijuana.

“Virginia’s policy of criminalizing minor marijuana possession is not working,” Herring wrote in an op-ed article published by the Daily Press in June.

“It is needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions. The human and social costs are enormous, in addition to the millions of dollars it costs Virginia taxpayers. And the negative consequences of the current approach fall disproportionately on African Americans and people of color,” he said. “That is why Virginia should decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, address past convictions and start moving toward legal and regulated adult use.”

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Herring’s stance on the issue could create a major campaign position for his gubernatorial run, unless the state’s general assembly legalizes the drug before the election, according to High Times.

Steve Heretick, a Democrat in Virginia’s house of delegates, said he plans to file a bill to legalize marijuana in 2020, The Virginian Pilot reported.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, seems to be on the same page. 

“Current law imposes a maximum 30 days in jail for a first offense of marijuana possession,” Northam said in his state of the commonwealth speech earlier this year, according to High Times.

“Making simple possession a civil penalty will ease overcrowding in our jails and prisons, and free up our law enforcement and court resources for offenses that are a true threat to public safety.”


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