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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > Marijuana Arrests Down in Virginia

Marijuana Arrests Down in Virginia


Marijuana arrests have been decreasing in Virginia over the last couple of years and commentators speculate it may be because the police are loosening up the enforcement of those laws. This news also comes just a few months after the Virginia Senate Majority Leader said that he was open to loosening marijuana laws and thought that the state should do more research into issues related to the enforcement of marijuana laws. However, it is important to note that under current law, marijuana is still illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia and you can face harsh penalties if you are caught in possession of marijuana. If you are charged with possession of marijuana or another drug crime, you should contact a skilled drug crimes attorney as soon as possible.

Reduction in Arrests

Over the past couple years there has been a 14% reduction in marijuana arrests in Virginia, and many people think that the reason for this reduction is a decrease in the enforcement of marijuana laws. One defense attorney explained that laws change slowly in Virginia and that he would not be surprised if some marijuana laws become completely unenforced within a few years.

Some prosecutors in Virginia have already, on occasion, declined to prosecute some cases of adult misdemeanor possession of marijuana because they feel that their limited resources are better spent prosecuting serious felony cases. It is important to note that there has not been a formal declaration from either police or prosecutors that they are intentionally neglecting to enforce marijuana laws; it is instead just speculation due to the significant reduction of marijuana arrests without a decrease in the number of people using marijuana. It is also notable that some cities and towns in Virginia have much more significant reductions in arrests than others.

State Government May Study Marijuana Laws

Another reason that some people think that Virginia may be loosening up enforcement of some marijuana laws is because Senator Thomas “Tommy” Norment Jr. requested that the Virginia State Crime Commission research further into many different issues related to the enforcement of marijuana laws. The research that he requested includes looking into the consequences that the state may face if they decide to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, examining the latest research about the link between marijuana use and the use of other drugs such as opiates and methamphetamine (otherwise known as a phenomenon called a “gateway drug”), and any consequences related to a conflict between state law and federal law. He also wants them to examine state laws in states that have decriminalized marijuana.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

Though enforcement may be waning, there are still frequent arrests for marijuana related crimes or other drugs. If you are charged with possession of marijuana or another drug crime, it is crucial that you have a knowledgeable drug crimes attorney on your side to help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. Our experienced drug crimes attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP serve clients in Leesburg, Loudoun County and Prince William County and will zealously defend you against the charges.




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