New marijuana crime included in Virginia budget proposal

Virginia legislative leaders are proposing a new criminal misdemeanor in state law for possession of more than four ounces of marijuana in public.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the proposal is included in a new two-year state budget plan. The General Assembly will meet Wednesday in special session to consider the budget.

The budget compromise would write into law that anyone caught in public with more than four ounces of marijuana would be guilty of a Class 3 criminal misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500, plus a criminal record.

Marijuana reform groups immediately called for lawmakers to stop finding new ways to criminalize Virginians who use marijuana.

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