Herring launches new policing initiative aimed at impartiality

Attorney General Mark Herring (D) and Virginia's Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Hudson. Facebook/Attorney General Mark Herring

Attorney General Mark Herring tweeted his support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Virginia Tuesday night.

“Virginians know we can do better. It’s time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring said in his retweet of a study that revealed more than half of Virginians agree with him.

The study, published by the University of Mary Washington last month, showed that 61% of Virginians support legalization of recreational marijuana, while 34% oppose legalization. The remaining respondents said they were uncertain.

This is a noticeable uptick from a UMW study conducted in 2017 that showed 39% of Virginians supported legalizing marijuana for personal use. The 2017 question was worded differently, asking if marijuana should be legalized in general, for personal or medical use, or remain illegal. A plurality said medical marijuana should be legal and the rest (17%) were opposed to legalization.

Recreational use of marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular issue for Virginia politicians as they go into the November State Senate elections and the upcoming 2021 gubernatorial elections.

Stephen Farnsworth, a UMW political science professor, said he believes legalization is several years away, but the timeline could change if a Democratic majority is elected in November. Eighty percent of the Commonwealth’s youth (25 and under) are in favor of recreational marijuana, Farnsworth said. “Winning the support of younger voters can be key.”

Herring, a candidate in the 2021 gubernatorial elections, has long voiced his support for decriminalization of marijuana.

Micheal Kelly, director of communications for Herring, said in an email the attorney general believes “Virginia needs to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, take action to address past convictions, and a move towards legal and regulated adult use in Virginia.”

Almost all marijuana-related arrests last year (90%) were for possession alone, and arrests for marijuana possession have increased 115% from 2003 to 2017, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. First time marijuana convictions in Virginia have risen 53% from 2008 to 2017, with enforcement costs estimated to be nearly $81 million a year.

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This story was produced by the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Capital News Service.

(48) comments

amerigirl

Chicken, I doubt they could use anything like a breathalyzer but they could still use the coordination test like walking a line, touching your nose etc. There are laws that prevent smokers from doing it in public, just like you can’t drink in public. That is to make sure that people like you with allergies and others who don’t want to be exposed to it are not exposed.





Hillsboroharry

Good for Herring. He’s normally wrong on everything but this one he has right. Long past time for marijuana to be legal


amerigirl

ace10, The intelligence exhibited by this post is below the measurement threshold. I'm guessing you know from personal experience? Here's a clue, before you claim things as fact, look and see if they are true.


Lawman

Now that's a High-Minded ideal. Its coming so you relics might as well get high or get lost.


tolerantleft

Sure, let's open the flood gates. There's growing evidence of marijuana's link to psychotic episodes. I guess Libs have already been experimenting.


amerigirl

Is that trumps problem? Naw, his is much deeper. As George Conway described yesterday how President Trump's "erratic behavior," "pathological narcissism," habit of lying and "sociopathic characteristics," render him "unfit" to serve as the president of the United States. John Kelly is said to have described him as “unhinged,” and “off the rails,” and to have called the White House “Crazytown”. Maybe he has been experimenting. What makes you think that it is just the left that uses weed? Former Republican lawmakers are becoming the face of a new marijuana lobbying blitz. They are following former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has been an active advocate for the cannabis industry since leaving Congress. As former Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said “Republicans have an image that people who use cannabis are a bunch of hippies who hate America, They’re still thinking about the 1960s, and here we are 60 years later.”


CindyLou

Libs? HA! Republicans can support drinking which causes....brain damage, osteoporosis, cancer, pancreatitis, liver disease, ulcers, vitamin deficiencies, immune system dysfunction, heart disease and cardiovascular issues, not to mention the accidents related to drunk driving. Give me a blunt over a bottle any day! Oh by the way, we are all psychotic, join the human crowd!


amerigirl

OMG! When I hit the bottom of your post I laughed so hard I spit out my coffee. So true though!


romano

brought to you by the Occupy slackers/stoners of today's Democrat party


amerigirl

Republicans in Congress, who have stonewalled pro-marijuana legislation for years, are now emerging as the cannabis industry’s most valuable allies. That's a headline that was published after a vote on 09/25/2019.


amerigirl

Along with ex-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)


CindyLou

said by the bullying, drunk, hypocritical right. Party on! Remember, Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right!!!


Loudoun4Trump

The AG looks stoned in that picture....maybe he has already started with the recreation...


amerigirl

Jealous?


Duncan Idaho

Do you drink alcohol? What's the difference? End the prohibition.


amerigirl

Personally I don't do either but who am I to say what people should or should not do especially in the privacy of their own home.


Loudoun 4 Trump

I've seen a lot of drunken bar fights but I've never seen two stoners fighting. I've seen friends and family become ill and die from a host of alcohol related illness’ but marijuana has all kinds of medicinal uses. The more I think about it the less I understand why it's illegal. Maybe because it was a useful excuse to arrest minorities?


amerigirl

OMG we agree on something.


CindyLou

hmmmmm, this isn't the Loudoun4 Trump I know....are there two of you? The old one and I were getting along fine here lately, now you come along....I think I like you better!!!


Waterfordresident

Typical...not surprised. Just another way to get votes from ignorant people.


amerigirl

Which do you think is safer pot or alcohol? Many smart people smoke weed. Ignorance is saying things about things you know nothing about.


monkeysee

Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, meet pot.


monavis

He has had plenty of time to assist in pushing legislation through. Will we really see it legalized with his help or is he just voicing his i'm up for election opinion to get more reelected..... I think it should be legalized.


mopar19

So unless the state has in place dispensary's before hand like ABC stores to sell it where is the tax revenue coming from. You end up like DC where it’s legal to posses, grow, and smoke in your home. The only place to get it is from the neighborhood drug dealer. Who now doesn’t have to worry about the police. Has more business then ever. More cash more guns and more violence. Sounds like a great idea. Let’s do this so we get the younger voters. Smoke weed, free college, free health care, and no drug testing at the workplace.


amerigirl

Why would you automatically assume that it would be sold in state run stores? People who have weed stores charge taxes, in DC it is 17% it varies from state to state from as low as 10% in Nevada to 37% in Washington state. That is a much higher tax revenue than the measly 4.3% sales tax we have. You are really off base with where to get weed in DC. They have many dispensaries, some that even deliver, others that run sales. Just like other shops. If anything it has ruined business for dealers. How does that relate to More cash more guns and more violence? If you don't believe it check out the site 'wheres weed'.


AreYouKidding

DC wanted to have legal dispensaries in place before the law took effect and still would like to but Republicans in Congress have blocked DC from doing so.


amerigirl

Shops that sell pot are dispensaries, they have to have a license to sell it.and rules they have to follow. I don't think that it is a problem now because Rep. Harris didn't add the stipulation for funding in this year.


ace10

Because there enough impaired drivers on the road already.


amerigirl

What makes you think they would be driving? Personally I think alcohol impairs a person to a greater rate than weed does.


ace10

Impairment is impairment is impairment. Why do you think there AREN'T stoned drivers on the road?


ChickenChucker

Can weed impairment be measured like alcohol, as alcohol in your blood is measured for driving impairment? You would have to have a way to measure impairment at the point of the traffic stop. After all, taxes and traffic fines are the biggest reasons for legalizing grass. I could care less but you have' to screw everybody equally and fairly. Then you have to accommodate people like me who are allergic to the stuff. If I can't have any fun neither can you.


amerigirl

smoking doesn't have the same effect as drinking. You would not be as impaired smoking as you would drinking. People become more chill, less bar fights, domestic abuse etc


Chris McHale

"Not as impaired". How is that even a valid position?


amerigirl

Chris, like the difference between a person having a beer or a person who has done 15 shots


ace10

The intelligence exhibited by this post is below the measurement threshold.




Chris McHale

While I strongly agree with legalization, I give Herring NO credit for waiting until a study showed a majority of Virginians feel the same way. As my mother used to say, "what a putz".


amerigirl

How do you know if he had brought it up before and been shot down? Before people complained about it becoming legal now they complain that it took to long to try to legalize it.


Chris McHale

I've never complained about it be legal. I do complain about it taking too long. And for the record I don't use it nor would I start simply because a state makes it legal, it's still illegal on the federal level and could cost you your job if you're a government employee or government contractor.


WesternSky

And Loudoun parents think we have a vaping issue now ....


Duncan Idaho

One of the few things on which I support him.


Loudoun4Trump

Black Face is hip on weed....who knew....good tax revenue? Unfortunately at the expense of Virginians who will be adversely impacted by those who cant handle the herb responsibly....like getting hit by stoned drivers in cars....good times....


amerigirl

Always the pessimist. There have been many studies done. Before comdeming you should check them out. "Smoking weed doesn't make you more likely to crash your car. ... no more likely to crash than those who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving" According to The Marshall Project, a majority of studies find that driving high is about the same as driving with .01 to .05 blood alcohol content, which is legal in all 50 states.


Duncan Idaho

Good to know that you're against individual freedom, just like faux "conservative" Trump, the grand moralizer.


amerigirl

That should bring in some good tax revenue.




workhardgetahead

Figures, tax tax tax!!!


amerigirl

I would much rather see taxes placed on pleasure items than necessities.


workhardgetahead

How about no taxes at all?


amerigirl

You asked "How about no taxes at all?". What are you willing to give up? free education, roads and maintenance, libraries, law enforcement, the military? Think about how many things are covered by taxes.


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