Gov. Northam announces proposed criminal justice reform agenda for 2020

Decriminalizing marijuana part of proposed legislation

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, gestures as his wife, Pam, listens during a press conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Northam is actively campaigning for Democratic legislative candidates ahead of Election Day (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, gestures as his wife, Pam, listens during a press conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Northam is actively campaigning for Democratic legislative candidates ahead of Election Day (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

RICHMOND, Va. – On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam has announced his criminal justice reform agenda for 2020.

Here are some of the topics he touched on in the proposed legislation:

Decriminalization of marijuana

Instead of simple possession of marijuana being a criminal offense, the governor has proposed a $50 civil fine.

According to the governor’s office, studies show that in Virginia, African Americans are much more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white residents.

If the legislation is passed, it would also clear the records of individuals who have been previously convicted of simple possession.

Raise the felony larceny threshold to $1,000

Last year, the governor signed legislation that raised the felony larceny threshold to $500 — the first time it had been raised since 1980.


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