Only a few weeks after Californians were observed hoarding cannabis in the face of the pandemic, the Attorney General of Virginia has passed laws that decriminalise marijuana in the state.
Don’t get too excited, Virginians – it’s still illegal. But as of this weekend, you won’t be prosecuted for the possession of small amounts.
In a progressive triumph for the state of Virginia, marijuana has been decriminalised, and realistically, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Another attempt to legalise the drug failed earlier this year, but over the weekend, the state government had better luck. Previously, where possession may have led to a criminal conviction, now it will be met with a simple $25 civil penalty.
With the possession of marijuana decriminalised, the state will be “a more fair, just, and equal place” said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to NBC:
“Decriminalization is an incredibly important first step, and one that many thought we may never see in Virginia, but we cannot stop until we have legal and regulated adult use.”
A new workgroup will be implemented to study the sociological effects of legalising marijuana. The findings are expected to be published in a report later this year.
Virginia is one of the 16 American states that have now decriminalised the drug. In the neighbouring state of Washington, marijuana is completely legal for medical and recreational use.
For Australians, weed is still very much illegal in every state. The ramifications are pretty unfavourable if you’re caught puffing on a Gatorade saxophone, so make good choices.