Cannabinoids, synthetic; penalties for transport, possession, sale, or distribution, etc. (HB1434)

Introduced By

Del. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


  Penalties for possession, sale, gift, distribution or possession with intent to sell, give or distribute synthetic marijuana.  Creates a new category for synthetic marijuana as a series of controlled substances listed in Schedule 1 ( 54.1-3446) of the Drug Control Act ( 54.1-3400 et seq.). Notwithstanding the provisions regarding punishment for possession and distribution of controlled substances listed in Schedule 1, punishment for possession and distribution of synthetic marijuana is largely in accord with the provisions for actual marijuana. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


11/03/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11100563D
11/03/2010Prefiled and ordered printed with emergency clause; offered 01/12/11
11/03/2010Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
11/04/2010Impact statement from VCSC (HB1434)
01/13/2011Referred from Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/13/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/17/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1434)
01/21/2011Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
01/24/2011Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (9-Y 0-N)
01/31/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2011Committee substitute printed 11104608D-H1
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1473
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1481
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1878
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1778
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1423
01/31/2011Incorporates HB1427
02/02/2011Read first time
02/03/2011Read second time
02/03/2011Committee substitute agreed to 11104608D-H1
02/03/2011Passed by for the day
02/04/2011Read second time
02/04/2011Amendments by Delegate Miller, P.J. withdrawn
02/04/2011Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1434H1
02/06/2011Passed by for the day
02/07/2011Read third time and passed House (98-Y 0-N)
02/07/2011VOTE: PASSAGE EMERGENCY (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2011Constitutional reading dispensed
02/08/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/14/2011Impact statement from VCSC (HB1434H1)
02/14/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1434H1)
02/14/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2011Committee substitute printed 11105337D-S1
02/14/2011Rereferred to Finance
02/15/2011Impact statement from VCSC (HB1434S1)
02/16/2011Reported from Finance (12-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2011Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1434S1)
02/18/2011Read third time
02/18/2011Reading of substitute waived
02/18/2011Committee substitute agreed to 11105337D-S1
02/18/2011Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB1434S1
02/18/2011Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2011Placed on Calendar
02/22/2011Senate substitute rejected by House 11105337D-S1 (3-Y 94-N)
02/22/2011VOTE: REJECTED (3-Y 94-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2011Senate insisted on substitute (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2011Senate requested conference committee
02/24/2011House acceded to request
02/24/2011Conferees appointed by Senate
02/24/2011Senators: Herring, Reynolds, McEachin
02/24/2011Conferees appointed by House
02/24/2011Delegates: Garrett, Gilbert, Miller, P.J.
02/26/2011Passed by temporarily
02/26/2011Conference report agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2011Reconsideration of conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2011Conference substitute printed 11105673D-H2
02/26/2011Conference report agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2011Conference report agreed to by House (89-Y 0-N)
02/26/2011VOTE: ADOPTION EMERGENCY (89-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2011Impact statement from VCSC (HB1434H2)
03/03/2011Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1434ER)
03/03/2011Signed by Speaker
03/04/2011Impact statement from VCSC (HB1434ER)
03/06/2011Signed by President
03/23/2011G Approved by Governor-Chapter 384 (effective 7/1/11)
03/23/2011G Approved by Governor-Chapter 384 (effective 3/23/11)
03/23/2011G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0384)
03/29/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1434ER)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 5 clips in all, totaling 7 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1481 and HB1878.


Jonathan Z. writes:

This is a terrible idea. When will our government learn that driving these products underground will just result in a black market for these items. What research has been done on this before introducing this legislation?

Schedule 1, really? Just because some irresponsible person abused this and could not feel their arms and feet does not immediately warrant a ban.

Nutmeg can hurt you far worse than this substance.

Compared to alcohol, how is this worse?

Please use common sense and kill this bill immediately. This is a step backwards in the failed war on drugs. Take a step forward and control this substance. Do not give gangs and dealers another product to make a profit.

Peter Tesh writes:

When there is already enough debate over whether or not the war on drugs (particularly involving cannibis) has done more harm than good to our society, in what way does it become a good idea to then extend its reach?

Vote down this bill. Support a serious look at Virginia's illegal drug policies.

Kellan Smith writes:

Yeah, sure. Give the violent drug cartels something else to sell and buy or politicizations with. You can't get rid of something by prohibiting it.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Kansas City reporter Peter Rugg tried synthetic marijuana and wrote about it last year, providing the most useful reporting that I've read on this topic yet. He concludes:

Because the effects are so short-lived and so minor compared to how I feel come 2 a.m. in my favorite bar, it seems equally silly for legislators to make this a priority or huff and puff about keeping legal.

Get it while you can. But if K2 is banned before you get a bag, you didn't miss much.

It's not clear to me why this should be made illegal. It doesn't appear to cause any harm. It's one thing to want to take the nanny-state approach and stop people from harming themselves, but there's no harm here. Why bother?

cindi writes:

How about banning oregano,mint and any other substance that an idiot may try to smoke?

gunther writes:

If there was no penalty for stealing, more people would steal...if there isnt a penalty for this stuff, more people will do it...think about it

Marc S writes:

This is pretty ridiculous. The effect is pretty weak at best, it doesn't even smell good (Some people think it does though.), I've never known ANYONE to get hurt by it even after daily, extended use. I myself just gave up on it while it was legal, it wasn't even worth the high prices in the stores. I'd never use it again, regarless of legality. And guess what, all the people that had it before, still have it, unless they just moved on.

It's a fact that the effects of making drugs criminal, is worse than the effects of just letting people use them in the first place. Making drugs illegal leads to more problems than just letting them be.

This legislation is absurd. It should be reversed. Honestly, who cares if people want to sit around watching movies and use some stuff. You know that if there is a black market, prices could potentially be even lower. I know you can buy K2 online for MUCH cheaper illegally than you could when it was 20+ dollars a gram in the stores.

Stupid law makers.