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States all across the country are changing their stance on medical and recreational marijuana. In particular, at the beginning of 2018, California permitted state-licensed dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana and cannabis products to people at least 21 years of age. The end goal for these programs is the collection of tax money through state-approved sales, the reduction of drug crimes, and the advancement of cannabidiol-based medicines.

With many promising benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana, where does Virginia stand? If you live within the state and believe marijuana should be decriminalized, you will be disappointed to learn that Virginia still considers marijuana possession to be strictly illegal. Possessing even less than half an ounce is considered a misdemeanor penalized with a month in jail and a $500 fine for a first-time conviction. If you are arrested a subsequent time with just less than half an ounce, you can be incarcerated for up to one year and fined $2,500. The penalties will only escalate depending on how much marijuana is found in your possession, whether or not you had an intent to sell it, where you were arrested, and a few other defining factors.

Medicinal Marijuana Laws in Virginia

Virginia has not openly approved of medicinal marijuana use in the state, nor is there much promotion of a state-regulated medical marijuana program. Medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) has been approved, though, if the drugs meet certain requirements. Namely, CBD products may be approved for medicinal use if the cannabidiol levels are high and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the compound in marijuana that creates the euphoric feeling associated with drug use – are too low to trigger a response. However, many doctors throughout the state are hesitant to prescribe any form of medical marijuana due to the stigma surrounding it.

Your Legal Support When Accused of a Drug Crime

People charged with marijuana possession or another similar drug crime deserve honest and compassionate legal representation. My name is Andrew J. Cornick, Attorney at Law, and my team of Fredericksburg criminal defense professionals are here to help you in such a trying time. I know that it can be confusing or upsetting to be charged with a serious crime when you believed that marijuana possession in small amounts was legal, or at least harmless. Call (540) 386-0204 to request a free consultation with my team, and we can help you come up with a plan to set things right again.