July 1st marked the one year anniversary of marijuana legalization in Virginia. With that anniversary comes multiple changes to marijuana laws in the commonwealth. Here’s what you need to know.
Is marijuana legal in Virginia?
Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signed the 2022 budget bill, which contains language recriminalizing activities involving the personal possession of over four ounces of marijuana in public. Under the new law, the public possession of over four ounces, but less than one pound of cannabis is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine. Second or subsequent offenses are Class 2 misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
“Governor Youngkin’s actions are in direct conflict with his campaign promise to not roll back legalization and they are out of touch with the opinions of the majority of Virginians,” said JM Pedini, Development Director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Executive Director of Virginia NORML.
In 2021, just one day after Virginia’s legalization law took effect, the Youngkin campaign tweeted “Glenn Youngkin will not seek to repeal [the law.]”
“The vast majority of Virginians support legal cannabis, but extreme Republicans are determined to make it illegal again. Yet another example of how Glenn Youngkin and the GOP are out of touch with Virginia,” tweeted Terry McAuliffe on July 1, 2021.