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Can you be charged with marijuana crimes after legalization?

Just over a decade ago, marijuana was only legal for medical purposes in a handful of states. Now, most states allow some degree of medical use, and a growing group of states with full adult recreational legalization.

On July 1 of this year, Virginia will join the ranks of states that allow the legal adult possession and consumption of marijuana. Those over the age of 21 will have limited rights to possess, use and even grow marijuana. Once this law goes into effect, does that mean that people in Virginia won’t be arrested for marijuana offenses anymore?

The law strictly limits the possession and cultivation of marijuana

While adults 21 or older in Virginia will now have more rights regarding marijuana than they have had in the past, that doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want with it. Careful compliance with the new law is necessary to avoid criminal charges.

The law will allow adults to grow their own marijuana, but they can only have four plants. After harvesting those plants, an adult can possess only one ounce of marijuana at a time. There will not be any dispensary system in place when the law changes on July 1, which means that people will still need to buy marijuana on the unregulated market.

Those selling marijuana, storing large amounts of it, transporting it in their vehicles or driving after consuming it could all easily still find themselves charged with criminal offenses. Understanding what legalization will mean in Virginia can help you avoid breaking the law and make it easier to defend yourself if you are accused of any marijuana drug offenses.

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