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Virginia Senate shoots down bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession

Jan 29, 2015 • 2:42 PM EST
va2.png
2 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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It did not take long for the Virginia Senate Court Justice Committee to shoot down the bill that would have decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Both sides were given five minutes to make their case in front of the Senate committee. Personally, I do not think that five minutes is enough time to present a case, but I guess that is all the time our “leaders” had to allocate to the matter. The bill was not expected to pass and when all was said and done, five Democrats voted for it and nine Republicans voted against it.  

Senator Adam Ebbin introduced the bill at the request of his constituents. The measure would have changed possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. It also would strike a requirement in the law that those who possess marijuana lose their driver’s licenses for six months.

What are they smoking?

The bill was opposed by the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys.

Kevin Carroll, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Virginia, and other opponents said marijuana legalization isn’t working in Colorado.

“Kids in Colorado right now have the highest incidence of use of marijuana right now than any other state,” he said.

Rachel Hunley, a senior at Liberty University studying minority health and disparities, said “by decriminalizing marijuana, we put our youth at risk of becoming more in contact with gang violence and drug fatalities.”

The opponents are clearly not tuned in to what is going on in Colorado because legal marijuana is working. I agree that there are issues with the state’s program, but I think that Colorado will be able to fix many of these issues with the millions of dollars they made off of taxing marijuana.  

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Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Technical420.com. Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.

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