DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


Virginia Voting on Medical Marijuana Repeal
This Week

Bills to repeal Virginia's medical marijuana law are reportedly being rushed through the House of Delegates and may be voted on as early as this week. We are asking Virginians to contact their Delegates ASAP, as well as to write letters to the editor to the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other papers.

Please ask your Delegate to oppose HB2654 & HB1621, both of which would repeal the rarely used but symbolically important law allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for cancer or glaucoma. Though the law isn't that useful under current circumstances, its repeal would constitute a PR victory for the federal government. Reportedly the federal government has been lobbying the Virginia legislature very heavily. Please also ask your Delegate to oppose HB 1959, a similar repeal relating to heroin for cases of severe pain. Note: both HB 1959 and HB 1621 would also prohibit medical research in these areas! Please also ask them to oppose HB1781 & SB1184, two "seeds and stems" bills that would increase the number of marijuana charges resulting in felonies, even in minor cases; HB 1628, which establishes a presumption of intoxication while driving for anyone with any detectable residue in their blood of any illegal substance, including marijuana users who have such traces weeks after any ingestion at all.

Also, ask your state Senator to oppose SB 704, which increases many misdemeanor drug charges to felonies and mandates up to ten times longer jail terms for them. Please voice your support for these 2 good bills: SB 776, Senate bill expanding the first offender law that allows for treatment rather that jail even in some felony cases; and HJR 656, a Joint Resolution for study of commercial hemp in Virginia.

Though we have listed several bills, right now the medical marijuana bills, HB 2654 and HB 1621, are the most urgent, as they may come up for a vote this week. Also, remember that Virginia's legislative session is extremely short, so please act right away on all of the bills.

Virginians can call the Toll Free Constituent Hot line at (800) 889-0229, 7:00am to 7:00pm, M-F. Or, fax your letter to the House of Delegates at (804) 786-6310 and the State Senate at (804) 786-0095. You can also phone your state Delegate, or find out who he or she is, by calling (804) 786-6530 (legislative information) or (804) 786-8826 (clerk's office). You can call your state Senator, or find out who he or she is, by calling (804) 786-3838 (legislative information) or (804) 786-2366 (clerk's office). Internet users can contact their Senators via on the web.

You can write your state legislators at:

        The Honorable {your Delegate}           The Honorable {your Senator} 

        House of Delegates                      Senate of Virginia 

        P.O. Box 406                            P.O. Box 396 

        Richmond, VA 23218                      Richmond, VA 23218

Last but not least, letters to the editor to the Richmond Times-Dispatch can be sent to:
Letters to the Editor,
Richmond Times-Dispatch,
P.O. Box 85333,
Richmond, VA 23293,
(804) 775- 8068 (fax).

For more information,
contact Lennice Werth,
Rt. 3 Box 692,
Crewe, VA 23930,
(804) 645-8816,
(804) 645-8324 (fax).

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