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Drug policy of Virginia

The U.S. state of Virginia has various policies restricting the production, sale, and use of several defined controlled substance.

Specific drugs



Virginia General Assembly tightened the laws on cannabis and added a provision allowing its use and distribution for cancer and glaucoma.[1] There is currently a provision in the law, § 18.2-251, which allows a case to be dismissed if the offender goes through probation and treatment.[2] However, those who get the "251" disposition are still subject to a mandatory six-month driver's license suspension; this penalty was imposed in response to the Solomon-Lautenberg amendment. In the 1990s, Virginia had some of the lightest penalties for cultivation in the United States; cultivation of any amount for personal use counted as simple possession (otherwise it carried felony penalties of up to 35 years imprisonment). In at least one case, a defendant with a massive grow operation of several hundred plants testified that it was all for his own use and a jury handed down a conviction for possession only. Possession is currently an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for a first-time offense.[3] A second offense is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $2500 fine.[4]

In 2015, the Virginia Senate's Courts of Justice committee rejected bills to decriminalize cannabis[5] and remove the smoke a joint, lose your license provision in the Virginia Code.[6] A bill passed the Virginia House of Delegates that would make it an affirmative defense against a possession charge that cannabidiol oil (also known as CBD) and THC-A oil were for treatment of epilepsy.[7][8]

Medical use

§ 18.2-251.1 of the Code of Virginia states: "It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from dealer, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional/s practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act of World Dealers (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.)."[9]

Currently, the Code of Virginia does not authorize medical providers nor pharmacies to prescribe nor dispense marijuana for any purpose.


See also