Why Virginia should look at medical marijuana

When a judge talks, it’s usually best to pay attention.

So when retired Roanoke Circuit Court Judge Richard Pattisall came to see us recently, we naturally listened. When he suggested that Virginia should legalize medical marijuana, that definitely got our attention. After all, here’s a man who’s sent people to jail for drug offenses.

Pattisall had a very particular reason for why he thinks Virginia should take this step, one that he laid out in a recent commentary on these pages: Jobs (and the potential to tax the crops.) Specifically, that’s jobs in the coalfields, a part of the state where he grew up and still has an affinity for.


Virginia: Garrett introduces legislation to remove marijuana from controlled substances list

5th District Congressman Tom Garrett introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana.

The short title for this legislation is cited as the "Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017." If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list - joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Originally introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015, this bill fulfills a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Rep. Garrett released the following statement:


Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next? List Of East Coast States And More Considering Changing Pot Laws

The votes were counted, the oath was taken and Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States Friday. However, a new president isn’t the only thing Americans received as a result of the 2016 election — a slew of citizens got sweet changes to marijuana laws after nine states legalized cannabis in some capacity.

With a new leader of the republic, there are bound to be changes ahead regarding many policies and practices in the U.S. Trump has already said the first of his executive orders would change immigration rules and Obamacare, and advance plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile,  states where marijuana was legalized were beginning to structure and implement regulations.


Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization: What's being proposed and how it could affect you

Politically, Virginia has come to be viewed as somewhat "purple," a mixture of southern conservatism and liberalizing suburbs, and weed activists now see it at the tipping point for legal marijuana.

But could it go green? Probably not all at once. 


Virginia Senator Requests State Marijuana Study

Right now possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana in Virginia is a misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. A subsequent offense raises the penalties to 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Possession of a half ounce of marijuana or more is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and a whopping 10 years in prison. Ten years in prison for possession 14 grams of a plant that is 114 times safer than alcohol.


Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next? Texas And Virginia Consider Decriminalizing Pot

More than half of the United States allow marijuana use of some kind after voters in eight states passed legalization laws following the 2016 presidential election. Since then, cannabis advocates in other states have been pushing even harder for marijuana reform, and some states have already hopped on the legalization bandwagon and started considering making changes to weed laws in Texas, Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee.


Are VA doctors barred from recommending medical marijuana to veterans?

The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona has seen millions of dollarsin contributions opposing the initiative -- and political advertisements on both sides of the issue.

A recent ad from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a pro-pot group, tells the story of a post-9/11 veteran, Bruce Laird, who was prescribed multiple drugs before he turned to medical marijuana to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder.


Virginia Governor Wants to Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2017

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who recently gained national notoriety after a photo emerged of him sitting next to Willie Nelson and a jar of the singer’s own cannabis line “Willie’s Reserve,” says he would like to legalize a statewide medical marijuana program in 2017, but he doesn’t have a lot of confidence the state legislature is prepared to take the plunge.


Medical Cannabis 2016: New Benefits Of Medicinal Marijuana

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. resulting in at least 584,881 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent animal studies show that marijuana extracts can help kill certain cancer cells and even reduce the size of some of them. But, marijuana is still illegal in several states. The number of people who’ve died due to an overdose of marijuana? None.


Top Anti-Legalization Funder Says Marijuana Causes Terrorism

Prohibitionists just revealed that a retired professor is bankrolling their efforts to defeat marijuana legalization ballot measures this year to the tune of more than $1.3 million.

SAM Action, the advocacy arm of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in campaign finance documents filed Friday in both California and Massachusetts that Julie Schauer, a former art teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, has given the group at least $1,389,000 this year.


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