Last week in Virginia the state Senate approved a bill that would stop police officers from pulling over and searching vehicles simply because they smell cannabis. The bill that was passed is supposed to help terminate racial profiling again people of color. According to the ACLU and the data that has been collected on cannabis use, people of color are three times more likely to be arrested for cannabis. Chelsea Higgs Wise, executive director of the nonprofit Marijuana Justice stated, “This is a small but important step to decriminalizing Black and brown bodies of being targeted by this longtime policing tool, which was really created by politicizing the war on drugs,” “The odor of marijuana is something that our undocumented community is anxious about because it’s life or death and separation from their families.” In Virginia cannabis decriminalization took effect July 2020, however, possession of more than an ounce can still result in a serious penalty, and having up to an ounce still results in a $25 fine. Virginia police are opposing the recent bill. Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Dana Scharad remarked, “Enacting this type of legislation allows and promotes smoking of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle, which is a fundamental disregard for maintaining a safe driving environment for motorists.”

SpeedWeed, 08/31/2020 20:25:02

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