A top official has announced his support for recreational
cannabis in the US state of Virginia.
Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted: “Virginians know we can do better.
“It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use.”
He also retweeted a University of Mary Washington study showing that 61% of Virginians support the legalisation of recreational cannabis, with 34% opposing.
Micheal Kelly, director of communications for Herring, told Capital News Service the attorney general believes: “Virginia needs to decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana, take action to address past convictions, and a move towards legal and regulated adult use in Virginia.”
A similar study by the same university in 2017 showed 39% of
Virginians supported legalising marijuana for personal use.
Cannabis in Virginia is illegal and possession of even small amounts is a criminal misdemeanour.
marijuana-related arrests last year (90%) were for possession alone, and
arrests for marijuana possession have increased 115% from 2003 to 2017,
according to a press release from the attorney general’s office.
marijuana convictions in Virginia have risen 53% from 2008 to 2017, with
enforcement costs estimated to be nearly $81million a year.
Last month the
road to full legalisation of marijuana across the US took a step closer to
reality as the House of Representatives voted in a bill to make it easier for
banks to work with the cannabis industry.
and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was given the green light by the
The bill is designed to smooth the way for banks to work with marijuana companies, many of which are ‘unbanked’ and only transact with cash or cryptocurrencies.