Virginia State Policy Alert

Sent: May 9, 2012
From: Dan Riffle
Topic: State and Local Legislation

Title: 

Good news in Charlottesville!

Message: 

A couple weeks ago, we let you know that the Charlottesville City Council would be debating a measure to make arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana the “lowest law enforcement priority” for local police. On Monday night, the council met to discuss the issue, and the results are in.

After some debate, the council voted 3-2 to “call on the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor of Virginia to revisit the sentencing guidelines that merit jail terms for simple possession, do away with rules that suppose intent to distribute without evidence and give due consideration to sponsored state bills that would decriminalize, legalize or regulate marijuana like alcohol.”

Mayor Satyendra Huja and Kathy Galvin opposed the resolution, while councilmembers Dave Norris and Dede Smith were in support. Councilwoman Kristin Szakos was the swing vote, supporting the measure only after it was amended.

Thanks to those of you who took the time to write your representatives on the council. Your support played a big role in getting this passed. Congrats also to Jordan McNeish, a 23-year-old activist who urged the council to consider the measure.

Onward!