Mar 122012
 March 12, 2012

virginia medical marijuanaVirginia Marijuana Policy

Virginia has marijuana laws that are typical of East Coast states – harsh. Much harsher than where I live in Oregon, that’s for sure. I will keep Virginia marijuana consumers in my thoughts, and pray for a day when the laws there change to not discriminate so harshly toward a harmless act. Below are the marijuana laws in Virginia, courtesy of Virginia NORML:

Decriminalized? — No.

Possession of any amount (first offense) is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Possession of any amount (subsequent offenses) is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Cultivation of any amount is a felony, punishable by 5-30 years in prison, with a $10,000 fine.

Distribution of less than .5 oz is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Distribution of .5 oz to 5lbs is a felony, punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Distribution of 5lbs to 100kg is a felony, punishable by 5-30 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Distribution of more than 100kg is a felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Distribution to a minor is a felony, punishable by 10-50 years in prison, and a $100,000 fine.

Distribution within 1,000 feet of a school or other specified area is a felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, in addition to related charges.

Transporting 5lbs or more into the state with intent to distribute is a felony, punishable by 5-40 years in prison, 3 years of which is mandatory, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Selling paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail, and a $2,500 fine.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison, and a $2,500 fine.

Probation with deferred proceedings is possible for first offenders.

Any marijuana conviction results in the automatic suspension of driving privileges for 6 months.

The state allows conditional release or alternative diversion for people facing their first prosecution. After successfully completing probation, their criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Medical Program? — No.

Want to help bring marijuana law reform to Virginia? Below are some great places to get started, via our Virginia activism page:

Virginia Marijuana Policy Project
http://www.mpp.org/states/virginia/

Virginia NORML Chapters
http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4570&wtm_view=chapter

Virginia Students for Sensible Drug Policy
http://ssdp.org/chapters/midatlantic/virginia

Virginia Americans for Safe Access
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=268

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
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