Marijuana; decriminalization of simple possession, penalty. (SB997)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Marijuana; decriminalization of simple marijuana possession; penalty. Decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $50 for a first violation, $100 for a second violation, and $250 for a third or subsequent violation. Current law imposes a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence for a first offense, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides that the suspended sentence/substance abuse screening provisions and driver's license suspension provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a juvenile. The bill provides that a court may suspend a driver's license for a civil violation committed by an adult. A civil violation will be treated as a conviction for prohibitions on the purchase or transport of a handgun and disqualification for a concealed handgun permit. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


07/16/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100110D
07/16/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/17/2019Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/21/2019Committee substitute printed to LIS only 19105321D-S1
01/21/2019Failed to report (defeated) in Courts of Justice (6-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)


Mark Stewart writes:

This bill looks like a cash cow bill, making for easy money gains by the system, much like a seat belt law. Additionally it appears to be a back-door gun control bill violating 2nd amendment. The only sure way to deal with prohibition is to nullify all existing marijuana law and free the cannabis plant as well as the people who care for it. This bill is an insult to all.

WB writes:

Any bill that chips away at the prohibition of the cannabis plant in Virginia or elsewhere is a step in the right direction!