As a Virginia resident, you undoubtedly know that marijuana possession and use are still illegal in our state. Federal law likewise considers marijuana to be an illegal drug. However, you may soon be able to legally use marijuana if you are ill and your doctor prescribes it or its oil as part of your treatment.

As reported by NewsLeader.com, a medical marijuana bill was submitted to the Virginia House and Senate last year. The Senate passed it, but when it went to the House Criminal Law Subcommittee for a vote, the vote ended in a tie, thereby defeating the bill. A new bill is expected to be submitted this year.

Strong public support

You may have been part of the polls conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University, Quinnipiac University and Christopher New University respectively to gauge public opinion among Virginians such as yourself on the issue of legalizing medical marijuana. All three polls found overwhelming support for this and other legislation, as follows:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University: 62 percent of Virginians believe marijuana should be legalized for recreational usage; 71 percent of Virginia Republicans believe that the penalty for possession of a small amount of marijuana should be reduced from a misdemeanor conviction to a $100 fine.
  • Quinnipiac University: 92 percent of Virginia voters support the use of medical marijuana by adults who have a prescription from their doctor; this breaks down to 97 percent of Democrats, 96 percent of Independents and 83 percent of Republicans.
  • Christopher New University: 69 percent of Virginia voters support medical marijuana legalization; 71 percent support the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Proposed uses of medical marijuana

You should carefully consider the proposed uses of medical marijuana, including the following diseases for which it has been found helpful:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis

This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.