Drug policy of Virginia

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The U.S. state of Virginia has various policies restricting the production, sale, and use of several defined controlled substance.

Specific drugs[edit]

Alcohol[edit]

Cannabis[edit]

Virginia General Assembly tightned the laws on cannabis and added a provision allowing its use and distribution for cancer and glaucoma.[1] There is currently a provision in the law, § 18.2-251, which allows a case to be dismissed if the offender goes through probation and treatment.[2] However, those who get the "251" disposition are still subject to a mandatory six-month driver's license suspension; this penalty was imposed in response to the Solomon-Lautenberg amendment. In the 1990s, Virginia had some of the lightest penalties for cultivation in the United States; cultivation of any amount for personal use counted as simple possession (otherwise it carried felony penalties of up to 35 years imprisonment). In at least one case, a defendant with a massive grow operation of several hundred plants testified that it was all for his own use and a jury handed down a conviction for possession only. Possession is currently an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for a first-time offense.[3] A second offense is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $2500 fine.[4]

Medical use[edit]

§ 18.2-251.1 of the Code of Virginia states:[5]

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.

In 1998, a bill was introduced to repeal the medical use provision, but it was defeated after opposition materialized from Virginians Against Drug Violence.

Cocaine[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]