Governor Northam proposes decriminalizing marijuana in new justice reform agenda

Posted at 1:43 PM, Jan 03, 2020

RICHMOND, Va.- Governor Ralph Northam has proposed decriminalizing marijuana by creating a $50 civility penalty, which was released in his new year justice reform agenda Friday.

Studies have shown that marijuana arrests disproportionately impact people of color in Virginia, the governor’s office announced. Northam has proposed that the records of Virginia residents who have been previously convicted of simple possession will be cleared. Under the legislation a person charged with a simple possession will instead have a $50 civil penalty.

“All Virginians deserve access to a fair and equitable criminal justice system,” said Governor Northam.

Among his agenda for justice reform, Governor Northam has also proposed to raise the felony larceny threshold to $1,000, which will mirror other states who believe that one mistake will not forever effect a person’s life.

The Governor proposes to also reform parole through expanding eligibility based on age and medical conditions.

The proposed budget for the criminal justice reform includes $4.6 million for pre-trial and probation services, plus $2 million for pre-releases and post-incarceration services.

For full details on Governor Northam’s criminal justice reform, click here.