Virginia governor signs bill decriminalizing marijuana

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Under current Virginia law, possession of marijuana is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence for a first offense. Under the new law, records relating to arrests, charges, and convictions for marijuana possession will be sealed "except in certain circumstances." Virginia is now the 27th state to decriminalize simple cannabis possession, according to the cannabis legalization organization, Marijuana Policy Project. Ralph Northam signed legislation on Thursday that decriminalizes marijuana possession, joining a majority of states that have ceased treating the drug as a criminal offense. Advocates of the legislation applauded it as another step for the state toward the full legalization of marijuana.

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation on Thursday that decriminalizes marijuana possession, joining a majority of states that have ceased treating the drug as a criminal offense. The new law, which goes into effect July 1, is the latest progressive action taken by state Democrats since taking full control of Virginia's government in November for the first time in more than two decades. On Thursday, Northam, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 972, creating a civil penalty of no more than $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, with no jail time. Under current Virginia law, possession of marijuana is punishable by a maximum...

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