Yes, marijuana is still illegal in Virginia. And no, you can’t get a prescription here either.
Virginia’s marijuana laws are full of surprises. Even the smallest and insignificant bit of marijuana residue or ash is illegal. If a police officer can test it, you can get arrested for it.
All marijuana convictions come with a six-month loss of license even if the driver enters the first offender diversion program under Virginia code 18.2-251.
Possessing synthetic marijuana is more serious than real marijuana. And growing marijuana can result in five to 30 years in prison.Another surprise is that there is no minimum quantity threshold for distribution. A person can be charged with distribution for sharing the scrapings from their pipe.
Possession of Marijuana
Va Code § 18.2-250.1 makes it a crime to possess any quantity of marijuana without a valid prescription. And a doctor cannot prescribe marijuana in Virginia.
It is a misdemeanor to possess marijuana. A first offense has a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a six-month loss of driving privileges. A second offense has a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and a six-month loss of license.
First-time marijuana possession is a criminal offense and a conviction will go on a one’s criminal record forever. There is no way to expunge a criminal conviction in Virginia, even if the charge is later dismissed as part of a first offender program.
Marijuana resin, tar, residue, ash and most parts of the plant are treated as marijuana according to Va. Code §54.1-3401. Mature marijuana stalks are not considered to be marijuana under Virginia law, but only if the stalks are not combined with any other illegal part of the marijuana plant.
Because of this law, the police can charge a person with possession if they have even the tiniest amount of residue or ash on a pipe, bong, or grinder. If you have a dirty pipe, bong, grinder, or a similar item, then you can be charged with possession of marijuana.
Possession of marijuana requires the government to prove two things: 1) that the substance was marijuana and 2) that the defendant possessed it.
Proving that a substance is marijuana requires field or laboratory testing. Marijuana testing presents complicated evidential and legal issues.
Proving possession requires proving 1) that the defendant knew that the marijuana was in their control and 2) that the defendant knew the item was marijuana.
Call Nichols & Green pllc (703) 383-9222 for a free consultation if you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Northern Virginia.
The attorneys of Nichols & Green pllc defend hundreds of people each year in Northern Virginia. Possession of marijuana is one of the most common crimes we defend people from. Mr. Nichols and Mr. Green has spent years research and studying Virginia drug laws. Not only do they practice criminal defense, Luke Nichols and Garrett Green are also the coauthors of the Virginia Drug Crimes Defense Manual.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia, call Nichols & Green pllc at (703) 383-9222 and let Mr. Nichols and Mr. Green share their knowledge and experience with you as part of a free consultation.
Nichols & Green pllc defends Virginia possession of marijuana across Northern Virginia.
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