Virginia

Ralph Northam (D)

Virginia

Took Office 2018
Term Expires 2021
NORML Grade: B+

2019 Enacted Legislation

Governor Northam signed several bills into law in 2019 specific to the state’s nascent medical cannabis access program. Among them, Senate Bill 1557 permits physician assistants and nurse practitioners to issue medical cannabis recommendations and Senate Bill 1632 permits for the use of certain cannabis formulations on school grounds. (Link)(Link)

2019 Vetoed Legislation

None

Comments

The Governor emphasized the need to decriminalize marijuana in his 2019 State of the Commonwealth speech, stating: “Making simple possession of marijuana a civil penalty will ease overcrowding in our jails and prisons, and free up our law enforcement and court resources for offenses that are a true threat to public safety." He has repeated the need to enact decriminalization and expungement legislation in the 2020 session. (Link)

"We need to take an honest look at our criminal justice system, to make sure we’re treating people fairly–and using taxpayer dollars wisely. And it’s time to temper justice with mercy. This means decriminalizing marijuana possession–and clearing the records of people who’ve gotten in trouble for it." (Link)

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