New Va. law scraps criminal charges for simple possession of pot

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state will become “a more fair, just, and equal place” now that simple possession of marijuana will be decriminalized.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed the decriminalization legislation into law over the weekend. The new law scraps criminal charges for simple possession of marijuana and creates a $25 civil penalty.

Supporters of the law have included the Democratic Attorney General. He and others have argued the measure is needed in part because African Americans are disproportionately charged with drug crimes.

A measure to legalize marijuana failed earlier this year.

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