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Is marijuana legal in Virginia?

With marijuana laws changing all over the nation, it can be confusing to understand what is legal in each state. You may be wondering where Virginia stands on medical and recreational use of cannabis. As of now, Virginia law prohibits any use of the drug. 

But what exactly do the laws say? And what is the outlook for the laws changing? Read below to find out the details of marijuana legality in Virginia. 

Punishments for marijuana crimes

Possession of marijuana in Virginia is a misdemeanor with consequences of a $500 fine and jail time for up to 30 days. Sale of marijuana up to half an ounce is a misdemeanor, with a sale of higher amounts counting as a felony. This shows that possessing and selling cannabis in Virginia is still a serious crime. 

Medical marijuana support is growing

In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly came close to passing a medical marijuana bill, but it died because of a tie. Lawmakers wrote the bill to allow medical cannabis for patients suffering from 12 severe conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, HIV, AIDS and Crohn's disease. It is possible for the Virginia General Assembly to see a similar bill in 2018. According to a News Leader report, support is growing in the state for legal medical marijuana. In fact, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 92 percent of Virginia voters support medical use of marijuana. 

Potential for recreational legalization

Although medical marijuana is not even legal yet in Virginia, there is a possibility for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the future. Along with strong nationwide support, 62 percent of Virginia respondents to a Virginia Commonwealth University poll said they support recreational marijuana legalization. 

There may be some legislative changes for marijuana in Virginia in the near future, but for now, it remains illegal on all fronts. Possessing and selling the drug is still a serious offense, but that could change as public opinion continues to favor legalization.

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