Controlled substances; possession, penalties. (SB411)

Introduced By

Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Possession of controlled substances; penalties. Reduces the penalty for possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance from a Class 5 felony to a Class 1 misdemeanor and the penalty for possession of a Schedule IV or V controlled substance from a Class 2 misdemeanor and a Class 3 misdemeanor, respectively, to a Class 4 misdemeanor. Consequently, the bill removes felony violations of possession of a controlled substance from the definition of barrier crime related to criminal history checks for eligibility for various types of employment, to volunteer or provide certain services, or to establish or operate certain types of regulated businesses. The bill also limits the previous convictions that make a person ineligible for disposition under the first offender statute to a previous conviction for possession of a controlled substance or manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance. Under current law, a previous conviction for any drug-related criminal offense or for an offense under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs makes a person ineligible for such disposition. The bill also amends the required conditions of probation under the first offender statute. The bill changes the penalty for an attempt to commit a felony drug offense from imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 10 years to a Class 6 felony and removes the felony offenses for a prisoner to secrete or have in his possession any chemical compound that he has not lawfully received, any Schedule III controlled substance, or marijuana. The bill makes secreting or possessing a controlled substance or marijuana by a prisoner punishable the same as possession of such controlled substances or marijuana by a person who is not in prison. Lastly, the bill provides that the definition of "controlled substance" for purposes of the Drug Control Act shall not include mere residue of any drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through VI that is not a countable dosage unit. The bill contains technical amendments. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22101679D
01/11/2022Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
01/31/2022Assigned Judiciary sub: Criminal Law
02/07/2022Impact statement from DPB (SB411)
02/07/2022Reported from Judiciary (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2022Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2022Read second time and engrossed
02/10/2022Read third time and defeated by Senate (19-Y 21-N) (see vote tally)


Robert Legge writes:

This is not simple a "progressive" bill. Similar legislation has been enacted in conservative states like OK, UT and AK. How could anyone believe that residue of a Schedule i or II drug should bring the possibility of a decade in prison. That's cruel and unusual.