VA Attorney General’s Wants Marijuana Decriminalized

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling on lawmakers to loosen some of its laws involving marijuana in the state.

On Saturday, Herring wrote an op-ed in the Daily Press stating that the Common Wealth’s current laws on possessions of small amounts of marijuana is needlessly creating criminals. According to the attorney general’s office, first-time marijuana convictions has jumped 53% from 2008 to 2017. Marijuana possession charges have spiked 115% from around 13,000 in 2003 to over 28,000 in 2017. In addition to that, he says the laws disproportionally affect African American and people of color.

Shockingly he said that African American’s who only make up 20% of the state population made up 46% of the people arrested as first time offenders for possession between 2007 to 2016.

He wants lawmakers to legalize and eventually regulate pot in the state. Herring also wrote that the cost of enforcing the current law cost taxpayers $81 million dollars a year.

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