News, Politics

Virginia Cannabis Laws Are Downright Confusing

March 10, 2021 03:30 pm ET
Virginia Cannabis Laws Are Downright Confusing

Virginia is for Lovers. Lovers of many different things. Lovers of beaches, wine, mountains, rivers, and cannabis. The first Thanksgiving took place in Virginia. The state is also one of the original 13 colonies of America. Historical Jamestown and colonial Williamsburg are still alive today with sights and sounds remnant of the past via continual reenactments of revolutionary and colonial-era life. Virginia even has an island that is home to wild ponies, which have roamed this island’s shoreline for centuries.

The First State in the South to Fully Embrace Cannabis

Virginia can now add another historical first to their list as well as boast that there is, even more, to love about Virginia now thanks to the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Virginia just became the first state in the south to pass a law allowing adult-use cannabis. As sweet as it sounds, it’s not all pecan pie and sweet tea for cannabis legalization in the state. 

Virginia also has a legal, medical cannabis program in place. Medical cannabis dispensaries in the state are few and far between. The cannabis available in the state is not considered worthy of medical or recreational status according to consumers throughout Virginia. Furthermore, legal access to retail cannabis dispensaries is not expected until 2024 or later.

Cannabis is legal in Virginia for adults 21 and up and possession of up to an ounce is decriminalized to an extent. Medical patients have access or, should I say, very limited access to low potency cannabis in the state. Retail consumers have absolutely no access at this time. Virginia also does not allow home cultivation for consumers. This presents a confusing situation for many people living in the state. For a program that is predicted to bring in an estimated $1.5 billion annually in sales upon its start in 2024, it would seem this would take precedent at this delicate moment of financial turmoil due to COVID-19. 

There Are Still Just So Many Questions

There are a lot of laws already in place throughout the country that Virginia could learn from and implement on at least a temporary basis. Things such as allowing home cultivation for adults over the age of 21 and the gifting of cannabis in small amounts between adults in the state. It just doesn’t seem fair to legalize a plant and then provide no access to it for years. However, this, unfortunately, has been the case in a few states as legalization has been slow to roll out.

Perhaps this is just a way for those who support cannabis prohibition to smile a little longer looking at cannabis consumers thinking you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Having the “legalization” protection, however, is better than unjust laws prohibiting it. However, the state is sure to face all kinds of challenges in the future until there is legal access for cannabis to be purchased. Law enforcement will likely have mixed emotions about the legality of cannabis, especially when there is not a place to legally obtain it. I can only imagine how confusing this must be for those living in the state of Virginia. I know I would be confused. I’d have many questions.

Like, if I have cannabis, how much trouble will I get into? If I have cannabis and I don’t get in trouble, does that mean it’s okay for me to continue to get cannabis from my source? Is it legal for me to purchase cannabis from a surrounding jurisdiction where it’s legal and bring it here? Can a medical patient buy cannabis for me since it’s legal for them too? Am I able to consume cannabis recreationally at all or do I need to wait until 2024? These are all great questions that we’ll surely find the answers to as the legal cannabis market unfolds in Virginia. 

Odd Virginia Laws That Have More Clarity Than the State’s Cannabis Laws

Who would have ever thought that you could legally smoke a joint, blunt, bowl, or bong of weed in a state, but it would be illegal to tickle women? That’s right, in the state of Virginia, it is illegal to tickle women. Up until 2020, it was also illegal to cuss on the phone or in public. You could get slapped with a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $250. Apparently, though, there was no wiggle room for tickling women. As I was looking through information about Virginia, I found some rather interesting stuff posted on a legal website advertising legal services in Virginia. I found it so interesting that I had to share this excerpt from an article about strange laws in Virginia from the Virginia Defense Attorney website that I thought you might enjoy as well.

  • It’s illegal to tickle women. Please be a lover, not a tickler.
  • It’s illegal to cuss about another person (Prince William County). And if you swear at someone over the phone, you’re looking at a $100 fine. (This law was repealed in 2020, and you can now cuss away in Virginia)
  • It’s illegal for kids to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
  • It’s LEGAL for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps, but he must do so before 8:00 p.m. (Stafford County). Seriously?
  • It’s illegal to sell lettuce and peanut brittle on Sundays.
  • It’s illegal for bathtubs to be inside the home. Instead, they must be in the yard of the home.
  • It’s illegal for Citizens to NOT honk their horns while passing other cars.
  • If you’re intoxicated but not driving your car, both the driver and you may be charged with DUI (Virginia Beach).
  • It’s illegal to flip a coin to determine who pays for coffee (Richmond).
  • It’s illegal to fornicate. And if you’re married, it’s illegal to do so with the lights on.

At least you can now legally partake in the state if you are over the age of 21 and scratch your head as you laugh and cry in confusion regarding the laws in Virginia. Or can you?

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