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Source: John Foxx / Getty

Lieutenant Governor Northam released his plan for criminal justice reform in Virginia, And Marijuana decriminalization is in the plans. In the plans, Northam wrote that sentencing laws disproportionately targets people of color. African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. The Commonwealth spends more than $67 million on marijuana enforcement—money that could be better spent on rehabilitation.”

He said that decriminalizing marijuana will help researchers to better study the plant, so doctors can more effectively prescribe drugs made from it.

Northam’s plan includes:

  • Increased support for substance abuse treatment programs
  • Continuing the restoration of rights of those who have paid their debts to society
  • Decriminalizing marijuana possession
  • Ending the practice of suspending a driver’s license simply because a person can’t afford to pay court costs
  • Raise felon larceny threshold to $500
  • Invest in mental health in jails and prisons
  • Encourage community-based alternatives to juvenile correctional centers
  • End the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Read more here.

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