Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill that makes marijuana decriminalized in the state. The state’s attorney General Mark Herring says that the bill makes the Old Dominion “a more fair, just, and equal place.”
Possession, which was once a criminal offense in Virginia, now only carries a $25 fine.
“Decriminalization is an incredibly important first step, and one that many thought we may never see in Virginia, but we cannot stop until we have legal and regulated adult use,” said Herring.
Even though bipartisan support was received in the House for the new bill, Republican House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert opposed the decriminalization, saying, “We see that other states have done varying degrees of changes in their marijuana policy, and I think in those states, we’ve seen varying degrees of success and unintended consequences and problems that have arisen.”
On July 1, the bill goes into law, allowing someone caught with up to an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction rather than a criminal charge.