Norfolk judge rules against Commonwealth’s Attorney directive on marijuana

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There’s a debate over marijuana inside Norfolk’s courthouse. 

Earlier this month, Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood announced that his office will not prosecute any misdemeanor marijuana possession cases if they fall within its jurisdiction. You can read his full letter here.

Last week, a Norfolk judge ruled against that directive. 

Back in May, Chesapeake resident Ashonti Thomas was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was convicted in General District Court. He had to pay a $100 fine and his license was suspended for six months.

Thomas appealed in Circuit Court last week. The prosecutor on the case motioned to drop the charges, but the judge denied that request, which goes against Underwood’s directive. 

A spokeswoman for the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office says “the directive remains the directive,” and “how this proceeds in court remains to be seen.”

Thomas is scheduled to be back in court in February. 10 on Your Side will keep you updated on the outcome.

Local delegate Steve Heretick did sponsor a bill to decriminalize marijuana in Virginia, but it died in committee. 

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