Feb 05, 2016 Virginia needs to catch up with marijuana decriminalization in Maryland and the District of Columbia
The Soviet Union fell in my lifetime. Gay marriage became legalized by state statutes and then by the Supreme Court. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization has been expanding along with legalization of medical marijuana.
Therefore, the possibility in Virginia remains for legalizing or at least decriminalizing marijuana or at least starting with legalizing medical marijuana. Until that time, Marylanders and Washington, D.C. residents, need to be vigilant against accidentally bringing marijuana over state lines into Virginia, as Virginians lawfully possessing handguns need to keep their handguns in Virginia or face stiff consequences if caught in Maryland or D.C. with handguns.
The District of Columbia is heavily integrated with the adjoining counties in Virginia and Maryland and beyond, to the point that those borders seem all the more artificial, so as Maryland and D.C. marijuana laws become more liberal, the contrast becomes starker with Virginia’s continued criminalization of marijuana, to the point that plenty of marijuana consumers in the D.C metropolitan area likely consider the marijuana laws in deciding whether or not to live in Virginia
Maryland recently liberalized its marijuana laws further by the legislature’s overriding of the governor’s veto of a bill making marijuana parahernalia possession (not unlawful in Virginia for personal possession only) into a civil offense.
For me, this whole issue is about civil liberties. My last of five toking sessions was before law school, and I have no more interest in consuming marijuana than alcohol, which I have not touched for over a decade. We need to reverse the expansion of our police state by including marijuana legalization.