Public opinion has steadily shifted in favor of a return to cannabis legalization, and now more Virginians support cannabis regulation than favor its continued prohibition.
Scientific and medical studies have repeatedly found that cannabis, though not without risk, is safer than alcohol, to both the user and society.
Any negative effects of cannabis are greatly overshadowed by the negative effects of current Virginia cannabis laws and penalties on Virginia's citizens and families.
Virginia arrests, supervises, and jails tens of thousands of our citizens annually in order to protect them and society from the risks of cannabis, and we taxpayers are burdened annually with the cost of the resulting prosecutions, supervisions, and incarcerations, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Virginia police arrest thousands of our children annually in order to protect them from the risks of cannabis.
Our children can obtain unregulated cannabis more quickly and easily than regulated alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.
Our police and unregulated cannabis sellers are unsuccessful in controlling cannabis sales to our children, or cultivation and distribution around the state.
Our regulated retailers are successful in controlling tobacco sales to our children.
The Report of the Joint Subcommittee of the Courts of Justice Committees of the Senate and House of Delegates Studying the Possible Need for a Revision of Virginia’s Marijuana Laws in 1979 stated “law enforcement efforts have not had a significant impact on the availability or use of marijuana,” and that “marijuana does not lead to aggressive behavior or to crimes against persons or property,” and recommended that marijuana possession be subject to only a fine as penalty.