For many people in Virginia who voted for the current Governor in the last election, the then-candidate’s campaign pledge to work toward the legalization of marijuana may have been a key factor in their choice at the polls. As the last legislative session has now come to a close, however, their hopes may be somewhat diminished.
The one change that was approved through the state legislature was the legalized use of both THC-A oil and cannabidiol for select medicinal purposes. Other efforts failed to reach the necessary majorities to be approved. This even included what some may have felt was only a minor benefit of allowing people convicted of pot-related offenses for the first time to be allowed to have their records expunged. This process would even have been paid for by the defendants themselves. It was the House of Delegates that stopped this from passing.
The Governor is said to not be giving up on pursuing reform of the marijuana laws in both Virginia and at the federal level, however. Reports indicate he believes that too many people are sent to jail for pot offenses that need not be and that this wastes valuable money that could be better spent in other ways including on rehabilitation.
While the laws remain as they are, people charged with crimes involving marijuana might want to reach out to an attorney to learn how they might defend themselves and protect their personal rights through the entire criminal justice process.
Source: MarijuanaMoment.net, “Virginia Governor Renews Marijuana Decriminalization Pledge,” Tom Angell, March 29, 2018