POLL: 60% of Virginia Voters Support Marijuana Decriminalization

A poll conducted by the firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) revealed that 60% of Virginia voters would support decriminalizing the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana, indicating strong support for state Senator Adam Ebbin’s marijuana decriminalization measure, Senate Bill 686. Decriminalization had majority support from every age, racial, and gender demographic.

The survey also had support for legalization and regulation of marijuana in the Commonwealth at a record high of 49% support to 44% opposed.

With the legislative session kicking off in Virginia, expect to hear much more about this pending legislation in the coming weeks. If you are a Virginia resident, please CLICK HERE to quickly and easily contact your state Senator and urge their support for SB 686. It is time that our state officials pursued a policy on marijuana that was “Smart on crime and smart for Virginia.”

We strongly encourage you also attend Virginia NORML‘s lobby day in Richmond on January 16th to help put the pressure on state legislators in person. You can click here for more information on lobby day.

If you find yourself traveling in the Richmond area, keep your eyes peeled for Virginia NORML’s billboard in support of SB 686, which should be going on display very soon on Route 360 as you drive over the James River (the billboard image is featured at the top of this post).

This poll was commissioned by MPP and conducted by Public Policy Polling. You can read the full results here.


23 thoughts

  1. The POLL:

    Which do you believe is safer: marijuana or
    alcohol, or do you believe they are equally
    Marijuana is Safer 31%
    Equally Safe 19%
    Alcohol is Safer 16%
    Not Sure 33%

    35% believe alcohol is safer or as safe as marijuana!!!

  2. I am resolved to get the government out of the business altogether. No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes. At any level. We don’t want illegal cartels. We don’t want legal cartels.

    We have done enough begging on our knees to make our point. It is now time to stand on our feet and demand what Eric Garner demanded. “It stops today.” – “Don’t touch me.” – “Just leave me alone.”

    Taxes are a license to kill. Ask Eric Garner. Well you can’t. He is dead. On suspicion of unpaid taxes.

  3. I think they should legalize the plant so anyone found with a pound of cannabis becomes the life of the party, not the bane of the ignorant and jealous.

  4. Ik moet dit gewoon kwijt!

    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the news because of a rumours of marijuana use, although the Lord Mayor claims he hasn’t since his NYU days.

    I stand fully behind the Lord Mayor, and if we need to make the majority of get de Blasio’s back on this one. Every sane and rational person knows the NYC cops’ Stop & Frisk was dastardly prohibitionist. It doesn’t surprise me that there are also rumours of the police spying on de Blasio, ahem surveillance.

    Everyone in the cannabis community wants the cops off their backs, as well as all the other government agencies that persecute them. Governor Cuomo and the pro-cannabis politicians in the New York state legislature need to get the cops off everybody’s ass. They need to declare NYC a Free City when it comes to legalising cannabis. They can, for the time being, not grant the decision to the rest of the state for other cities and localities to decide for themselves without the state approval to legalise cannabis.

    Do Something!

    The Big Apple Needs to become the Denver of the East Coast that Washington, D.C. has been denied.

    The federal blockage by the bastard Harris and all the other prohibitionists is delaying the next nudge forward toward the legalization end of the cannabis continuum.

    And, you know the latest Harry Smith CNBC potumentary, nice.

    Legalize and tax the shit out of cannabis got the foot in the door. Are the taxes too high on Colorado cannabis, and that’s why there’s such a black market, or is there a black market because prohibitionist states, Colorado’s neighbors, have outsourced the supply for their demand? Nevada is leaning toward legalisation. No brainer that after Nevada legalizes underground market shipments of Colorado weed will trickle.

    Pennyslvania Prohibitionist Attorney General Kane is amidst a scandal. She has publically stated she is against marijuana, even medical marijuana. The state will have a new governor, Governor Elect Tom Wolf (D), and he is pro-cannabis. Get a pro-cannabis Attorney General in there, once Kane is uninstalled.

    Republicans are having a shindig in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a retreat to strategise. It’s the perfect time for de Blasio and his wife to visit Tom Wolf at Wolf’s house there in York County. Wolf is not living in the governor’s mansion, but is choosing to work from his own home, got a business to run from there, too. May they all take part of the sacred herb at Wolf’s and work in tandem to legalise cannabis!

    De Blasio needs to get the upper hand over the NYPD prohibitionists. The U.S. needs to dominate the worldwide cannabis market, follow the cannabis cash trail globally to gain valuable intelligence sources. Bekka Valley is fighting against that Islamic State group. Use the common interest and make sure the money is going to people who are NOT trying to kill us!

    Maybe a the two of them can be helped to become candidate material to run together for president and vice president.

    As the Big Apple goes so goes the (rest of) the country.

    Oklahoma and Nebraska might as well drop the lawsuit anyway. They’re going to look pretty damn dumb if an American Indian Nation in Oklahoma legalizes cannabis.

    Get Bratton to negotiate behind the scenes with the police unions to remain neutral on cannabis legalization in exchange for some of the revenues going to meeting the contract demands of the cops better.

    Heres’ the link to the article:


  5. On a personal level, I really hope Virginian’s get together on this and make this legislation happen. Not only because Keith and valued members of NORML live there, and DESERVE this break, but also because of what lobbying power Virginia represents for the southern half of the country. For those of us fortunate to participate on lobby day this Friday, please don’t underestimate the opportunity to face your representatives and reason with them… Educate them… And reach a compromise. Even the most confident and well funded prohibitionist is looking for compromise these days, especially leading up to 2016 elections…

  6. A huge portion of Virginia’s history is based on growing tobacco. It would be a logical transition for modern day Virginia to move to growing cannabis for export.

  7. Does this law still reside in the Virgina Code? I was doing some research, and came across it while reading the code. If so, would it be a stretch, given the past and current state legalization and decriminalization efforts in the US, to assume that with the elimination of the “cancer” and “glaucoma” references, that a medical marijuana patient in the Commonwealth, would be exempt from prosecution if he obtains a PRESCRIPTION for cannibals for any recognized illness, or disease, acknowledged by the 23 states that have legalized marijuana?

    Anxiously waiting for your reply,
    John M

    § 18.2-251.1. Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes permitted.

    A. No person shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-250 or § 18.2-250.1 for the possession of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

    B. No medical doctor shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-248 or § 18.2-248.1 for dispensing or distributing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol for medical purposes when such action occurs in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

    C. No pharmacist shall be prosecuted under §§ 18.2-248 to 18.2-248.1 for dispensing or distributing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol to any person who holds a valid prescription of a medical doctor for such substance issued in the course of such doctor’s professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

    [Paul Armentano responds: Yes, this statutory language is still law in Virginia. However, physicians cannot legally ‘prescribe’ marijuana so the law is moot. A bill to amend this statute and to allow Virginia doctors to ‘recommend’ marijuana rather than ‘prescribe’ is pending in the legislature. NORML has an alert about this legislation here: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15339.%5D

  8. The last sentence should read …”the 23 states that have legalizes MEDICAL marijuana”.

    Thank You

  9. Paul, thank you for the reply (o; A little background, I suffer from chronic pain, PTSD, and Bipolar 1 disorder. I am a 100% T&P Disabled American Veteran. I smoke weed to alleviate acute anxiety and some pain issues. My psychiatrist and psychologist have annotated in my formal medical record that I function better with the weed, than without it. Mood swings are less prevalent when I’m medicated, and I don’t have to take the wicked opioid’s or the benzo’s… my point is, although not prescribed in Virginia, there are doctors in Colorado, Washington,DC, Rhode Island, etc, etc, that do prescribe medical marijuana. If I obtain a prescription in one of those territories, and use marijuana in Virginia…aren’t I exempt from Virginia prosecution according to the code? The code does not stipulate a Virginia doctor… § 18.2-251.1. sates “Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes permitted.”

    According to the 2015 US Federal budget, no Federal resources will be used to prosecute medical marijuana violations in states where state law authorizes medical marijuana. I think if I get busted, God forbid, my defense will set a precedent for Virginia according to § 18.2-251.1.

    Thanks for the link, but I t5hink the code is far from moot… Cheers!

    [Paul Armentano responds: “there are doctors in Colorado, Washington,DC, Rhode Island, etc, etc, that do prescribe medical marijuana. If I obtain a prescription in one of those territories, and use marijuana in Virginia…aren’t I exempt from Virginia prosecution according to the code?” No, because doctors in those states do not ‘prescribe’ marijuana. They provide a written recommendation that is in compliance with the explicit statutes in their respective states and legally these (recommendation vs prescription) are treated as two different things.]

  10. I must be manic…what a bummer. Virginia, the 1st state to legalize medical marijuana in 1979, is not on the list )o:… however, according to the law, state law trumps federal law…worth a try.

    None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.


  11. Thanks Paul, I guess I’ll remain in the “speak easy”…thanks for your knowledge. I signed the bill btw…thanks again!!

  12. Mirijuana shoud be legalized , it’s better then heroine and opiates you don’t see a mirijauna smoker going nuts n breaking in to people’s homes and stealing hard working people’s property to get their fix. Legalize it va

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