On Wednesday, Virginia attorney general Mark Herring, a Democrat, hosted a day-long summit in the capital city of Richmond, where he made his case for joining the more than dozen states and cities that have lifted pot prohibition.
“Front and center is badly needed reform of our cannabis laws in Virginia. I don’t believe that Virginia’s current system of criminalizing cannabis is working. It is needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions. The human and social costs of this are enormous,” Herring said, as quoted by Cannabis Wire.
Herring bolstered his argument by pointing to some statistics. He noted that the number of pot-related arrests in Virginia “more than tripled” between 1999 and 2018, going from 9,000 to 29,000. Herring also pointed to a recent poll showing that more than 60 percent of Virginians support legalization for adults.
“It is clear to me that it is time for a new, smarter approach to cannabis in Virginia. And the question that we’re here to answer today is: what does that look like?” Herring said, according to Cannabis Wire. “To me, the best path forward is to immediately decriminalize possession of small amounts and start moving toward legal regulated adult use.”