In June, Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Press.
It called for the state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession and to stop sending innocent people to jail. The letter received bipartisan support, which means Virginia could see decriminalization very soon.
“It is about time,” said Floyd Oliver of Price Benowitz. “Every time legalization occurs in another state, it makes Virginia’s laws look more and more outdated. The Attorney General was absolutely correct. It is time to stop disproportionally targeting African Americans, which is what the current law does, and stop sending anyone to jail that does not deserve to be there.”
The plea from the Attorney General comes at a time when marijuana possession convictions are increasing in Virginia. In 2003, approximately 13,000 Virginians were arrested on marijuana possession charges. In 2017, almost 28,000 people faced charges, an increase of 115 percent.
Those charged face harsh penalties, too. Even a first offense misdemeanor charge could land a person in jail for up to 30 days, and they could be required to pay a fine of $500. A second offense, even for a small amount of marijuana, has consequences of up to a full year in jail and fines up to $2,500.
Those convictions are costing Virginians approximately $81 million a year in additional taxes. However, the social cost is much greater than that. Like in many other states across the country, possession laws seem to target individuals of color.
From 2007 to 2016, the Virginia Crime Commission reports, African Americans saw the most arrests. In fact, they made up 46 percent of all possession arrests.
This is not the first time the idea of decriminalization has been raised in Virginia. Last year, Virginia’s Senate Majority Leader, Thomas K. Norment, Jr. sponsored a proposed bill that would decriminalize the drug, but that effort failed. Now, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushing for decriminalization, it may just be the time to end the unfair criminal charges.
Decriminalization is not the same as legalization. If a new law decriminalizing the drug was passed, those found in possession of marijuana would still face penalties. However, those consequences would be much less severe and would likely be the equivalent of a traffic ticket.
It’s Hanukkah — The Jewish festival of Hanukkah started last night. Public menorah lightings are planned in Clarendon and Pentagon City are planned on Sunday and Monday. [ARLnow] Federal Funds…
55+ Single Level Living
Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A look at the most and least expensive single-family homes sold in Arlington last month, November 2023.
About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Part-time Executive Director to lead our organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who can oversee day-to-day operations, drive fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. This is a 1099 position; Remote position with ability to attend DMV events; 8-10 hours a week; $35-40/per hour.
Oversee program operations, including educational and community initiatives.
Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, maintaining trust and accountability.
Develop and execute a strategic vision aligned with our mission and values.
Lead fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board Members.
Cultivate relationships with community partners, schools, educators, and donors.
Demonstrate strong leadership skills, fostering a positive organizational culture.
Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and make compelling public presentations.
Promote inclusivity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to