Virginia Legislature adjourns without considering marijuana policies

Day 46 - West Midlands Police - Cannabis Drugs...

Day 46 – West Midlands Police – Cannabis Drugs Raid (Photo credit: West Midlands Police)

English: one high-quality "bud " nug...

English: one high-quality “bud ” nugget of marijuana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virginia Legislature adjourns without considering marijuana policies

After the retirement of long-time marijuana reform advocate Harvey Morgan, and resignation of Alexandria Delegate David Englin, a new legislative advocate for marijuana reform was needed in the Virginia Legislature. Unfortunately, no one was willing to step up to the plate during the 2013 legislative session. Please write your legislators and ask them to lead the charge next session. You can ask them to call for the state to regulate marijuana like alcohol, or take a more modest reform such as citing and fining – rather than arresting and criminalizing – marijuana users.

There were some sensible proposals introduced in the 2013 session. For example, Del. Roxann Robinson sponsored HB 1867, which would have made school suspensions for marijuana optional, rather than mandatory. Another bill would have allowed for easier expungement of marijuana possession charges from criminal records. Unfortunately, neither bill advanced past the committee stage.

It’s not all bad news, though. Ultra-conservative gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has indicated the federal government shouldn’t interfere with states like Colorado and Washington taxing and regulating marijuana. Marijuana reform is gripping the country, and as Mr. Cuccinelli’s comments indicate, even Virginia is not immune to rational marijuana policy reform. If and when legislation is introduced in Virginia,