On Monday, a public hearing will be held before the Virginia State Crime Commission to discuss the implications of decriminalizing personal amounts of marijuana in the Commonwealth.
Under the proposed plan, individuals found in possession of their private reserves (less than half an ounce) would face a civil fine rather than misdemeanor charges.
Virginia’s current marijuana law classifies individuals caught with less than 14 grams as having committed a misdemeanor offense. Those cited for “possession for personal use” face 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. And proving that recidivism doesn’t pay, a “second or subsequent offense” for the same amount is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months of incarceration.
Held in Richmond, VA, the public hearing before the state crime commission will occur today between 1 and 6 p.m. Individuals who wish to have their voices heard at today’s meeting will each have three minutes to make their public comments on the topic.
Ralph Northam (D), Virginia’s current lieutenant governor, identified decriminalizing marijuana as a core issue for addressing the rampant injustice within the state’s criminal justice system last April.
Anticipated to be a popular subject before a packed hearing, those hoping to express their opinion on the wisdom of decriminalizing marijuana in the Commonwealth of Virginia should arrive well in advance of the 1 p.m. start time. Today’s meeting will be held at the Pocahontas Building, located at 900 East Main St., Richmond, VA.
Virginia’s Public Hearing Rules for Decriminalization
Participants are required to sign in for the meeting
Speakers will be assigned a number to speak before the Crime Commission beginning at 10 a.m.
Not all attendees will be guaranteed a chance to voice their opinion based on time constraints and the number of projected participants
Each speaker will be allowed three minutes to articulate their opinion
All comments must be restricted to the issue of decriminalizing personal amounts of marijuana
Respectful behavior is required
Cell phones and electronic devices should be turned off or silenced.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, “all attendees must go through a security check and metal detector. Those wishing to speak must go to a table at the end of the hallway outside of the meeting room to sign in and receive a number.”
A candidate for the next governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam penned a pro-decriminalization letter to the state crime commission last August explaining that Virginia currently spends approximately $67 million on “marijuana enforcement.”
This article was originally published on Marijuana.com.
About Monterey Bud: Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.