State of Virginia Archives: on Drugs


Tom Perriello: Lead the fight to take on our backwards marijuana laws

Source: Twitter postings on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Apr 20, 2017

Ralph Northam: Be open-minded about medicinal plants like marijuana

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello both have spoken favorably towards decriminalization. Despite the apparent bipartisan interest, opinions among members of law enforcement are all over the map.

Northam, the first candidate in the 2017 governor's race to announce his support for marijuana decriminalization, said he believes pot could have some medicinal benefits. Northam, a pediatric neurosurgeon, argues that decriminalization may lead to more research on the use of marijuana to provide relief from pain, drug-resistant epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. Northam noted the latter is of particular concern in a state with a large military and veteran population. "I'm a physician. I like to remind people there are over 100 medicines that we routinely use to take care of our patients that come from plants, so we need to be open-minded," said Northam.

Source: Mecklenburg Sun on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Mar 8, 2017

Tom Garrett: Decriminalize pot at the federal level

Efforts to ease up on marijuana enforcement have gotten a boost from 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) announcing a bill to decriminalize pot at the federal level.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello, [both candidates for Virginia Governor in 2017] have spoken favorably towards decriminalization. Despite the apparent bipartisan interest, opinions among members of law enforcement are all over the map.

Garrett said he introduced his bill in response to testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearing, which raised concerns over whether the Justice Department would take a hardline stance on marijuana under the new Trump Administration. Sessions testified, "Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state an illegal act. So, if that's something that is not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule."

Source: Mecklenburg Sun on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Mar 8, 2017

Tom Perriello: Has spoken favorably towards marijuana decriminalization

Efforts to ease up on marijuana enforcement have gotten a boost from 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett (R) announcing a bill to decriminalize pot at the federal level.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello both have spoken favorably towards decriminalization. Despite the apparent bipartisan interest, opinions among members of law enforcement are all over the map.

Garrett said he introduced his bill in response to testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearing, which raised concerns over whether the Justice Department would take a hardline stance on marijuana under the new Trump Administration.

Northam, the first candidate in the 2017 governor's race to announce his support for marijuana decriminalization, said he believes pot could have some medicinal benefits.

Source: Mecklenburg Sun on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Mar 8, 2017

Ed Gillespie: Opposes decriminalization, but align penalty to pot offense

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam became the first gubernatorial candidate to publicly announce his support for decriminalizing marijuana. While Northam was the first candidate to support decriminalization, he's not the only one who wants to open up the state's marijuana laws. Tom Perriello's spokesman said that Perriello also would support decriminalizing marijuana. "Yes, of course. And as he has said consistently during his campaign, we have to fix our broken criminal justice system and re-engineer the school to prison pipeline into a school to workforce pipeline. This includes reforming our outdated and often racially biased drug laws," the spokesman said.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie's campaign said in a statement that while Gillespie opposes marijuana legalization or decriminalization, "he does support exploring reforms to make sure that penalties align appropriately to the offense committed."

Source: Virginian-Pilot on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Feb 18, 2017

Ralph Northam: Blacks are twice as likely to be arrested for pot possession

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam became the first gubernatorial candidate to publicly announce his support for decriminalizing marijuana. Northam gave multiple reasons for his stance. He said that black Virginians are 2.8 times more likely than their white neighbors to be arrested for marijuana possession; that the $67 million the state spends on marijuana enforcement could better be spent on rehabilitation; and that decriminalization could lead to more research that allows doctors to better prescribe marijuana for pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder. The last is of particular concern in a state with a large military and veteran population.

While Northam was the first candidate to support decriminalization, he's not the only one who wants to open up the state's marijuana laws. [One pundit] said Northam's announcement could especially help him appeal to younger voters who he's having a difficult time connecting with.

Source: Virginian-Pilot on 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race Feb 18, 2017

Robert Sarvis: Libertarian platform: Legalize marijuana

Robert Sarvis got 6.5 percent of the 2013 vote for Virginia governor as the Libertarian candidate. Sarvis now says that he wants to run for U.S. Senate, challenging Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va. "I finally got the go-ahead from my wife and told the Libertarian Party folks that I am going to run," Sarvis said in an interview.

In 2013, Sarvis was vastly outspent by the two major-party candidates but managed to get 6.5 percent of the vote. Libertarians will nominate their candidate at a party convention in Richmond on Feb. 8. Sarvis said he will run on a similar platform as last year, including small government, a reduction of spending, legalization of marijuana and allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch on 2014 Virginia Senate race Jan 30, 2014

Robert Sarvis: Legalize marijuana & decriminalize harder drugs

Drug reform is about so much more than drugs. It's about:I propose legalizing marijuana in Virginia, decriminalizing harder drugs, and adopting a rational, evidence-based regulatory policy.
Source: Virginia Governor 2013 campaign website, robertsarvis.com Sep 21, 2013

Bob McDonnell: Tough sentences for dealers; but new drug courts too

Repeat drug dealers are a major, perpetual cause of crime in our state. This year, I am proposing tough new laws to put away repeat drug dealers for longer periods of time. If these dealers are behind bars, they can't sell drugs to our kids, steal from their neighbors or contribute to the tragic cycle of addiction that has stolen the lives of too many Virginians.

We can break that cycle when we combine tough sentences with other effective policies. In this year's budget I have provided localities with a mechanism for obtaining authorization for new drug courts, at their expense, as long as they meet certain requirements and provide data necessary to evaluate their success. For those released from prison, who have learned from their mistakes, we will provide them with positive opportunities for change through effective prisoner re-entry policies. Over 90% of offenders get out of prison, and we don't want them going back. We want more good citizens and fewer victims.

Source: 2012 Virginia State of the State Address Jan 11, 2012

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Virginia Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018