State senator proposes marijuana decriminalization

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia state senator has introduced a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the bill is sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria.

Under the proposal, the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would be decriminalized. Currently, that’s punishable by a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Among other things, the bill also would reduce the criminal penalties for distribution and possession with the intent to distribute by creating a presumption that a person who grows no more than six plants would be raising them for personal use.

Virginia State Police figures show that in 2013, there were more than 24,000 marijuana arrests in the state.

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