In these divisive times, it is easy to become disheartened.
Focus with me for a few minutes on progress in Virginia for marijuana reform. YOUR VOICE MATTERS, and just a handful of calls can have a major impact. Over the next couple weeks our legislators will decide on the bills listed below.
No time for calls? Use the links below to email your legislator. To find your legislator, click here.
Some tips to help you make the most of your call (voicemail messages are okay):
• Be sure to let the staffer you speak with know that you are a constituent.
• State your support for specific bills.
• Be brief and to the point.
I’m calling today to strongly urge Senator or Delegate (Name) to vote for House or Senate Bill # and Title. (optional: Add a brief personal comment here). Please let the senator (or delegate) know this is a vitally important issue to me and many of [his/her] constituents.
Thank you for your time.
Take Action: Virginia Legislation
These are the marijuana-related bills still under consideration. Let’s get some wins this year, VA!
State Senators Adam Ebbin (D), Bill Stanley (R) and Delegate Les Adams (R) have introduced SB 1091and HB 2051 respectively, legislation that would remove the mandatory driver’s license suspension currently imposed for those with a marijuana possession conviction.
Under current law, any drug conviction, regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle was involved, results in an automatic suspension of the individual’s driving privileges for 6 months.
These pieces of legislation remove the mandatory suspension for adults, leaving it up to the judiciary’s discretion to determine the most appropriate enforcement action. Juveniles will still face an automatic license suspension for any drug related conviction.
Senator David Marsden has introduced a bill to re-approve a previously passed act that will regulate the instate production of cannabis oil for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
SB 1027 ensures that patients suffering from the debilitating condition will not have to break federal law to import cannabis oil from out of state.
The bill also allows pharmaceutical processors, after obtaining a license, to manufacture and distribute cannabis oil products. This arrangement further secures patients’ access to the treatment.
Although more than a dozen states now explicitly exempt criminal prosecution for qualified patients who possess CBD extracts, to date only Florida and Missouri provide for in-state production of these products.
SB 1298 has cleared the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on a 9-4 vote as it seeks to establish affirmative defense for possession of cannabidiol if an individual has written certification that they require the substance due to an approved medical condition.
Affirmative defense establishes a basic set of facts surrounding cannabidiol possession cases. If someone with a qualifying medical condition is caught possessing marijuana, an affirmative defense for the individual would likely result in a more lenient punishment.
SB 1298 covers a number of conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer’s, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Under current law, only the treatment of intractable epilepsy is covered by the affirmative defense.
It’s time Virginia provided some protection for its citizens suffering from chronic diseases.
LEARN FROM THE NATION’S EXPERTS
Register today for the Virginia 2017 Cannabis Conference at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Downtown Richmond Sunday, January 29th and Lobby Day, Monday, January 30th at the General Assembly. Patients, parents, professionals and policymakers come together for two days of common sense and compassionate legislation conversations.