Alexandria, Virginia – This past Sunday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana in the commonwealth. Put simply, the bill removes criminal charges for simple cannabis possession and replaces it with a $25 fine–nothing compared to the previous potential of up to 30 days in jail.
As of July 1, 2020, the date the new law takes place (if this General Assembly agrees to technical amendments proposed by Northam), Virginians will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana with no arrest or criminal record. Previously a misdemeanor, offenses involving the possessions of up to 1oz of weed will become a civil violation.
It’s important to note that the new law also seals the criminal records of past marijuana offenders from employers and school staff.