There is a lot of confusion these days as to whether or not the use or possession of marijuana is still a crime. The answer is absolutely “yes!” At least in Virginia. Numerous other states across the country have made the possession, sale or use of marijuana legal under their state laws. What this means is that in states like Colorado it is legal to possess, sell and use marijuana recreationally under Colorado law. In other words, no Colorado police officer could arrest you for using marijuana within the confines that their law has laid out to govern its legal use.
However, these same exact activities remain illegal in every state under Federal Law. A person could legally purchase marijuana in a state that had legalized its sale, and then still be arrested by the Federal authorities for possessing it. This is regardless of where it was purchased, or if the purchase was made “legally.”
Furthermore, in states like Virginia, the possession, sale, and use of marijuana is completely illegal. A person could theoretically legally grow marijuana in Washington, DC legally, and then drive a mile into Virginia and be arrested for possessing it. In Virginia, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense which carries with it the possibility of a $250 fine, 30 days in jail, and a mandatory 6-month suspension of a person’s license to operate a vehicle. The sale or distribution of marijuana can be a felony depending on the quantity and carries possible incarceration in prison.
The marijuana laws in America are clearly in a state of flux. Until there is certainty surrounding the legality of marijuana the best practice is to avoid using it. If you have been charged with a crime in Virginia involving marijuana, allow the lawyers at Bush & Taylor to assist you with your case. We know the drug laws, and we have tried thousands of criminal cases in Virginia. Put our knowledge to work for you.
See what the Virginia Code says about marijuana: