Virginia AG calls for state to legalize marijuana

Virginia Politics
AG Mark Herring_1542306465776

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2014 file photo, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks at a news conference at his office in Richmond, Va. A federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday, Feb. 4, on whether Virginia’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Herring, the state’s newly elected Democratic attorney general, said he has already […]

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug.

The Democratic attorney general said criminal prosecutions are costly to the state and local governments and disproportionately affect African Americans.

Herring made the remarks in an op-ed in the Daily Press and in comments to reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond.

Herring’s announcement won’t have any practical impact on marijuana prosecutions, which are typically handled at the local level. But Herring said he hopes his public support for legalization will help spur lawmakers to act.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly has killed past efforts to decriminalize marijuana.

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