One of the most important Republicans in Virginia plans to introduce a measure that would bar first-time marijuana offenders from serving in jail, according to a report from the Daily Press Tuesday.
The current law calls for a mandatory $500 fine and a stay in a local jail for up to 30 days. The bill sponsored by State Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment Jr. would eliminate the jail time, leaving first-time offenders to pay the $500 fine without the potential for time behind bars.
Judges have a tendency to decline jail time for such offenses according to the report, but the measure would go one step further by allowing judges the option of erasing the arrest or conviction records as long as the perpetrator participates in any state-recognized drug program.
“I represent a lot of young people, a lot of college students,” Norment told some of his supporters at an annual breakfast. “I’m looking to give some of these people a hand”, provided they do what they’re supposed to.”
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