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Bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana advances in Va. Senate

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- The Virginia Senate advanced a bill that would decriminalize possession of marijuana.

SB2 would decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana in Virginia and the Virginia Senate advanced the bill to the Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Adam Ebbin, a Virginia State Senator representing Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax, says that "it is time to recognize that the prohibition on cannabis has failed, and move together away from an outdated system that has disproportionately affected people of color in the Commonwealth."

Adam Ebbin

@AdamEbbin

 · Jan 29, 2020

SB2 -- which will finally decriminalize simple possession of marijuana in VA, reports from the Judiciary Committee 11-2. It will be heard by the Finance Committee. Years of hard work by so many open-minded organizations and legislators have made this bill more equitable and just

Adam Ebbin

@AdamEbbin

It is time to recognize that the prohibition on cannabis has failed, and move together away from an outdated system that has disproportionately affected people of color in the Commonwealth. I look forward to continuing my years of work to ensure this bill's passage in 2020.

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4:29 PM - Jan 29, 2020

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam wants to decriminalize marijuana.

Currently, simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor.

Northam wants to create a $50 civil penalty instead. The legislation would also clear the records of individuals who have been previously convicted of simple possession.

"All Virginians deserve access to a fair and equitable criminal justice system," said Governor Northam. "My proposed criminal justice reform legislation and budget initiatives will combat mass incarceration, increase supports for returning citizens, and ensure meaningful second chances for those who have paid their debts to society. This is a bold step towards a more just and inclusive Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass these measures into law."

The 30-page bill will now go to the Finance Committee.