Arrests for marijuana dropped last year in Virginia compared to 2018, an encouraging development for a state that is a month away from decriminalization taking effect.
Commonwealth law enforcement completed 26,470 arrests in 2019 for pot-related offenses, which NORML noted represented a drop from 28,866 such arrests the year before—a more than eight percent drop. Those arrests accounted for 57 percent of drug-related arrests in Virginia in 2019.
On July 1, Virginia will become the latest state to decriminalize marijuana, after Gov. Ralph Northam in April signed a sweeping criminal justice legislative package. In a statement heralding the bill, Northam said that every “Virginian deserves access to a fair and equitable criminal justice system.”
“These bills combat mass incarceration, increase support for returning citizens, and ensure that those who have paid their debt to society have a meaningful second chance. I thank the General Assembly for working with us to build a more just and inclusive Commonwealth,” the Democrat, whose term expires at the end of next year, said at the time.
With the measure, Virginia joined 26 other states that had already decriminalized marijuana in some form.
Outright legalization of marijuana — which Northam has not……Read More Here