Marijuana; decriminalization of simple possession, civil penalty. (SB2)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patron Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg)


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, or 5 hours of community service as an alternative punishment. 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 and substance abuse screening provisions and driver's license suspension provisions apply only to criminal violations. The bill also provides that simple possession of marijuana may constitute conduct that presents a serious threat to the well-being of a child for the purposes of defining a "child in need of services." The bill defines marijuana to include hashish oil. The bill raises the threshold amount of marijuana subject to the offense of distribution or possession with intent to distribute from one-half ounce to one ounce. The bill contains technical amendments. Read the Bill »


02/19/2020: In Committee


11/18/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
11/18/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20100705D
11/18/2019Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
01/08/2020Moved from Courts of Justice to Judiciary due to a change of the committee name
01/16/2020Assigned Juciciary sub: Criminal Law
01/16/2020Assigned Judiciary sub: Criminal Law
01/28/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB2)
01/29/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (10-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2020Incorporates SB815 (Morrissey)
01/29/2020Committee substitute printed 20106511D-S1
01/29/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
02/06/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (36-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Read second time
02/11/2020Reading of substitute waived
02/11/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20106511D-S1
02/11/2020Reading of amendment waived
02/11/2020Amendment by Senator Surovell rejected
02/11/2020Amendment by Senator Ebbin agreed to
02/11/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SB2ES1
02/11/2020Printed as engrossed 20106511D-ES1
02/11/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2020Passed Senate (27-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2020Placed on Calendar
02/14/2020Read first time
02/14/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/14/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB2ES1)
02/19/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/19/2020Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (12-Y 8-N)
02/19/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 8 clips in all, totaling 11 minutes.


Melinda Scott writes:

It would be good to expand this Bill to decriminalize marijuana completely for recreational use within responsible behavior limits. For Virginians who prefer NDs to MDs, they do not have a path to access medical marijuana prescriptions, since NDs do not have legal status yet in Virginia. Virginians should be allowed under their philosophical and religious beliefs the right to use marijuana recreationally in order to regulate it personally for health purposes. Allowing the recreational use of marijuana could bring it to market in rural areas and boost Virginia's rural economy. Recreational use is working well in other states

Patrick writes:

This seems like such a simple bill to approve. I do not know why it is taking so long to understand that Marijuana was outlawed for the wrong reasons and from a campaign of disinformation. If you enjoy your freedoms then you should vote that the government doesn't have the right to tell you how you can't enjoy your time relaxing at home. Either with alcohol or marijuana. It should be fully legal and taxed, so that state could get some money instead of the black market and gangs.

Susan writes:

Legalize and then tax it. It’s time.

Kermit Zalynski writes:

As a government employee, I am prohibited from recreational use of marijuana. As a patriot, I believe that others should be allowed to use marijuana at their cognizance. I support the freedoms of all.

Lisa Hairston writes:

I have lived in Virginia for 40 years. I was taught to be proud of the leaders we have produced. Today, I see so few
of these leaders progressively moving us forward the 21st century, and as a Nation.
I am writing as a citizen, and legal voter in Virginia, to endorse Melinda Scott's Bill. I look forward to having the freedom to choose what plants I grow, buy, borrow, and how I use them. Please get this done!
Thank You,
Lisa Hairston

MICHAEL writes:

A step in the right direction.

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