An amendment to Virginia’s Senate Bill 591, proposed by Gov. Glen Youngkin (R), would have made marijuana possession a more serious matter than it is today. However, Youngkin’s efforts fell flat because lawmakers refused to advance the bill altogether, advocacy group NORML reported.
SB 591 was re-referred by legislators to the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services committee, but, since the 2022 legislative session already ended, the legislation will not advance any further this year.
The governor’s amendment would have made possession of over 2 ounces of cannabis punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Possession of over 6 ounces of weed would have been punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
“The good news is, Governor Youngkin’s effort to recriminalize personal possession failed,” said JM Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML and NORML’s development director.
“The bad news is lawmakers’ inaction today allows for products containing unregulated and potentially unsafe synthetically-derived THC products to continue to proliferate in Virginia,” Pedini added.