Friday, September 25, 2020

Is Weed Legal In Virginia?

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Recently Virginia has joined a number of states making medicinal weed legal, but only just. Recreational weed is still very much illegal, likely due to the fact that Virginia is a fairly conservative state once you venture beyond greater DC or the larger urban areas. However, despite the disapproval of the government, the residents of Virginia have made it known that they do not feel the same way.

When last asked, 62% of residents supported the legalization of weed and 86% supported the legalization of medical weed. As with many states, however, the understanding of the electorate far surpasses that of the elected. But that’s really none of my business

Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this article at the time of reading. We take no responsibility for any inaccurate information.

Possession and Sale

The possession of marijuana is still very much illegal, and could result in up to 30 days of jail time or a hefty $500 fine for a first offence. If you are caught with weed after that, the fine can go up to $2,500 and significant jail time. Very much a one chance only situation.

The sale of the drug is an entirely different kettle of illegal fish, where the penalties can be far steeper. Any more than half an ounce is a felony, while half or less is a misdemeanor. More than 5 pounds of the stuff could result in up to 30 years of jail time. And those are only for first-time offenses. Subsequent offenses, selling to minors, or selling around schools could land you in far more trouble.

Medical Marijuana In Virginia

Though medical marijuana has technically been legalized for patients suffering from epilepsy, it is not nearly as available as other states. Those suffering from severe epilepsy are allowed access to a low THC CBD oil which must have more than 15% CBD and no more than 5% THC. Unfortunately, this legalization does not prevent patients from being arrested for the possession of their medicine. In fact, it only provides something called “affirmative defense” which can be used if the patient is taken to trial, so that’s nice

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For those who are brave enough to risk carrying around the CBD oil, they can acquire it from a small number of vendors known as “pharmaceutical processors”. 

So just to summarize what Virginia’s medical marijuana program actually covers:

  • You can only qualify if you suffer from sever epilepsy
  • You can only access very specific types of cannabis oils
  • You can’t access any concentrates or flower
  • You can still be arrested for possessing these oils, even if you have a doctor’s certificate

What Does The Future Hold For Virginia?

All around Virginia, states are repealing outdated laws and actually listening to the people. In the neighboring District of Columbia, recreational weed has been legal for some years now. Although not the same as DC, Maryland decriminalized small amounts of weed in 2014. Their residents have also enjoyed a far larger medical program since 2017. At least Virginia isn’t really behind Kentucky on their stance around cannabis, as the two neighboring states share a lot of similarities in their laws.

Related:
Is Weed Legal In Delaware?

The residents of Virginia are clamoring for legal weed, and for far better access to medicinal cannabis, but what is the government going to do about it? In 2020, Virginia may be thinking about decriminalization for minor offenders, in an attempt to free up valuable police time and prison space. A decriminalization bill was put to parliament in the tail end of 2019, which will hopefully take the fine for possession of small amounts of weed down from $500 to $50.

Though it’s not exactly celebrating marijuana for all of its medicinal properties, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The bill recently became a step closer to reality, as it’s passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hopefully, the good people of Virginia will eventually get at least some form of legal weed.

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