Virginia Leaves cannabis alone however, I grew up in Virginia and have had a few run-ins, stops, and “entanglements” with police concerning cannabis. I am relieved for those living in Virginia that it has been reported by ABC13 News arrests for marijuana have drastically decreased since it has been recreationally legalized in Virginia. Specifically, it has been reported that arrests dropped by 90%.
The article compared the amounts of arrests from the same time last year in July to this July. My question is what about the twenty-five marijuana-related arrests that occurred in Richmond and in Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties in the first 7 weeks of legalization the article reported. Why were they arrested if marijuana is legal? The article did not provide details of course, but that is 25 possible cases of people being arrested for breaking no law at all.
ABC13 news reports, and the information can be found on the state of Virginia’s website, that the new law legalized possession by adults age 21 and over of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of four pot plants per household, among other decriminalization provisions. Selling marijuana remains illegal until the state launches a regulated market in 2024 and issues licenses. A regulatory board will help carry out the details. The state of Virginia has been clear that selling cannabis will not be tolerated. Some lawyers have alluded to the fact that the state will not be like Washington DC.
However, that is an unfair comparison. It is illegal to sell cannabis in Virginia, period. Washington DC passed Initiative 71 a few years ago. Initiative 71 allows for the transporting, possession, and gifting of cannabis up to two ounces. This allows for delivery services like Select Co-op to operate in the district.
Interestingly, Chesterfield police Chief Jeffrey Katz says the new law was “poor public policy” ABC news reports. He points to the obvious. The state legalized it but there is nowhere to legally get it unless you grow it. This leaves people still operating in the black market and open to arrest.
ABC News went on to report that Chief Katz indicates that the police will maintain their focus on those attempting to sell cannabis. There have been numerous arrests for felony intent to distribute cannabis based on the amount possessed. There is a solution to avoid this confounding situation. Many make the drive to Washington DC for the high quality, large selection, and consistent service by a delivery service just like Select Co-op.