If you’re hazy on what legalization of simple marijuana possession means, we're here to debunk the myths.
Legalization of simple marijuana possession is a racial justice issue, as black people in Virginia are nearly 3.4x more likely than white people to be arrested for simple marijuana possession.
Myth 1: Decriminalization solves the problem
Decriminalization that includes civil penalties is not enough, it still:
- does nothing to protect people of color from being targeted unfairly with civil infractions
- contributes to over-incarceration if a person cannot pay the fine
- is used by police as a pretext for racial profiling
Myth 2: Legalization is not safe
It’s already illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and would continue to be, just as it is to drive drunk.
Myth 3: legalization has to includeregulation immediately
Legalization now means:
removing simple marijuana possession and use from the criminal code completely
- and as a result, eliminating it as a racist policing tool
- licensing, regulating, and taxing the product with an equitable lens by reinvesting revenue in the communities most harmed by enforcement.
- expungement for those convicted of simple marijuana possession; and
- eliminating re-entry barriers that currently exists which can all happen after legalization.
You can legalize simple possession now to stop the harm and commit to study equitable and safe regulation.
Take action. It’s time to stop imposing criminal or civil penalties for simple marijuana possession and use. Tell your lawmaker to support full legalization to reduce racial disparities in Virginia’s criminal legal system at acluva.org/act/LegalizeMarijuanaVA