Virginia’s attorney general makes another call to lawmakers for decriminalized marijuana
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring reiterated his call to decriminalize marijuana during a cannabis summit held in Richmond.
Besides clogging courts with cases, Herring says the negative consequences of current marijuana laws fall disproportionately on African Americans. Herring is hopeful lawmakers will sponsor legislation that allows regulated use of cannabis and permits people to have small amounts of the herb without arrest.
Arrests for marijuana possession in Virginia have more than tripled from around 9,000 in 1999 to nearly 29,000 in 2018, according to data released by Herring’s office. In the last decade, the number of first-time marijuana convictions in Virginia has risen 53 percent, from 6,533 in 2008 to 10,000 in 2017.
Herring also noted recent polling shows a majority of Virginia residents favor marijuana reform and easier access for medical patients.