Virginia Committee Halts Legalization And Decriminalization Bills

A pair of cannabis legalization bills introduced last week by Virginia delegate Steve Heretick [D] have been halted in committee with a 6-2 vote. Three other decriminalization bills were also rejected with 5-3 votes.

“The House Courts of Justice Committee has decided that it is not your decision or mine whether to use marijuana as we do alcohol and other substances,” said Heretick in a video posted to his Facebook page. “Once again, the Committee listened to the same outmoded, outdated stereotypes in opposition to this bill.”

Heretick thanked the thousands of Virginians and other members of the Assembly that supported his efforts to legalize and decriminalize cannabis possession by consenting adults.

“This is a fight that will continue,” said Heretick. “With your support and your dedication, we will change the attitudes which have kept us in the dark for so long. This remains an issue about personal choice, not about public safety or any of those other things that we hear so much about.”

A separate bill that would decriminalize simple marijuana possession, pre-filed on July 16, 2018, was referred to the committee on General Laws and Technology on Thursday. The bill would impose a $50 fine for the first violation, $100 for the second, and $250 for any additional infractions.