Virginia’s Marijuana Laws
In our state, it is still a crime to possess marijuana. Under Virginia Code §18.2-250.1, possessing marijuana is subject to 30 days in jail plus up to a $500 fine. A second or subsequent offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor that has the potential of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. For most people, those punishments are just the beginning. A conviction for possession of marijuana can affect employment, security clearances, access to federal student loans, and college admissions. In reality, these “collateral consequences” can far outweigh the government-imposed consequences.
Legalization of Marijuana
There is currently a strong movement for decriminalization of marijuana in Virginia. Virginia NORML is one organization who pursues this goal. They state their mission this way:
“To reform Virginia’s outdated marijuana policies so that responsible use by adults will no longer be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties.”
While the advocacy organizations work toward decriminalization, most admit that goal is a long-term one for Virginia. In the meantime, these organizations continue to advocate for reduced penalties, and to make medical usage more commonly available.
Virginia Beach Marijuana Defense Lawyer
For now, there are still many jurisdictions in Virginia that treat possession (and distribution) of marijuana as a very serious criminal charge. But there are available defenses for this charge, especially where the police have not acted in accord with your constitutional rights. I am proud to defend clients charged with possession of marijuana anywhere in Virginia Beach or anywhere in the Hampton Roads area, both southside and on the peninsula. Contact me for a free consultation on your case.