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Virginia: Local Focus, Nationwide Impact

In the primary quarter of 2017, the reform efforts of Virginia NORML laid a framework for stimulating adjustments within the Commonwealth’s hashish insurance policies. As spring blooms, conversations are blossoming in municipalities around the state difficult the established order of criminally prosecuting misdemeanor ownership in want of civil fines. And we’re main the rate no longer handiest at house in Virginia, however in Congress as smartly. As Virginia NORML continues its project to reform marijuana rules, our efforts will have to goal all 3 fronts, federal, state and native.  

Federal Changes from Virginia Conservatives
Three expenses had been presented by way of Virginia congressmen that will considerably reform the present federal coverage of prohibition. Rep. Griffin (R-VA) from the ninth district presented the Legitimate Use of medical marijuana Act and the Compassionate Access Act. Both would reschedule marijuana from its present Schedule 1 classification, and come with protections for state systems.

Rep. Garrett (R-VA) from the fifth district presented the Ending Federal marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, and Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) from the 2d temporarily cosponsored. This invoice would take away marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, permitting states the ability and versatility to determine their very own marijuana insurance policies unfastened from federal interference. This regulation used to be carried by way of Sen. Sanders within the earlier consultation, and now, conservative lawmakers from Virginia are marching down the similar trail. Make no mistake, this is as a result of they had been lobbied by way of Virginia households determined for scientific reform, each in our statehouse and DC.


VA Reps Griffin, Garrett, and Taylor 

Emergence of a New Regulated hashish Industry
In a watershed second, the Virginia General Assembly unanimously handed a invoice to keep an eye on the in-state expansion, manufacturing, and distribution of hashish oil. Virginia NORML is intently tracking the licensing procedure to verify the agreed upon rules are applied hastily and with affected person protection and get right of entry to of number one worry. Currently, the rules handiest permit get right of entry to to sufferers with intractable epilepsy. We are already onerous at paintings with legislators making ready for enlargement regulation in 2018 that can #LetDoctorsDecide which in their sufferers they’d suggest scientific hashish to, simply as they already do with all different drugs.

You can sign up for our affected person coalition at cannabis Commonwealth when you’d like to face with us within the struggle for all Virginian’s rights to get right of entry to protected, regulated scientific hashish.

Local Efforts for Decriminalization
Grassroots. This phrase is spoken ceaselessly, on each channel, by way of each events. Why? Because it really works. An previous cliché says “80% of success is showing up.” If you need to peer decriminalization achieve Virginia, it’s important to display up. Get in your City Council now. Prior to every General Assembly, councils get ready their legislative programs, coverage want lists that they draft in keeping with group enter. Any resident can signal as much as discuss ahead of their council on problems vital to them all over the general public remark duration of any assembly. Ask your council to incorporate a request for decriminalization and/or doctor-recommended scientific hashish of their 2018 bundle.

Virginia operates beneath the Dillon Rule, because of this municipalities can not decriminalize, however they may be able to deprioritize. City councils can direct their police departments to position the bottom degree of precedence on arresting adults for easy ownership. And, Commonwealth Attorneys, which like town council are elected positions, are already empowered to refuse prosecuting misdemeanor ownership fees, leaving assets to be had to prosecute violent crimes and felonies. Showing up is step one achieve any of those reforms!

Spring Into Action
Ready to do extra however don’t know the place to start out? Get concerned along with your native Virginia NORML bankruptcy, or test to peer in case your space has a Decriminalize motion, like Decriminalize Norfolk or Decriminalize Virginia Beach. If there’s no staff on your space, please touch us for lend a hand kickstarting the dialog on your place of origin. Speakers, coaching, information, and procedural help are to be had via Virginia NORML to energy your group’s adventure to more secure marijuana insurance policies.

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