Virginia is now the first southern state to legalize recreational marijuana use, as of summer, 2021. In short, the new law legalizes pot, but it comes with some serious caveats. Partners at Friedman, Grimes, Meinken & Leischner PLLC explain the “do’s” and “don’ts” of navigating marijuana use in Virginia.

Is It Legal to Smoke Marijuana in Virginia? 

The new law allows Virginians to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. The law also allows for the growth of up to four marijuana plants, as long as they are not within eyeshot of the public or are able to be accessed by anyone underage. 

In addition, up to one ounce of marijuana can be gifted as long as there is no monetary compensation. You can’t sell it to friends, but you can give it to them. 

Is It Legal to Smoke Pot in Public in Virginia?

The use of marijuana in public is also illegal and can qualify as a Class 4 misdemeanor. While this is the lowest level criminal offense in the state, fines can reach up to $250. 

Attorneys emphasize the importance of using marijuana in private. While a car may seem like a private place, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle can lead to legal issues. Drivers should ensure that marijuana is not within reach of the driver or any passengers. Traveling with marijuana in your trunk is your best bet for avoiding a potential charge.

Can I Travel with Marijuana Across State Lines? 

Attorneys also warns D-M-V residents to be especially aware of their surroundings. In ten minutes, you can be in three different jurisdictions (Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia). Each jurisdiction has its own laws, not to mention federal property, like the National Mall or the George Washington Parkway.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so it is crucial to remain aware and careful when crossing state and district lines. It is important to always know where you are and to make sure you’re in compliance with the law of the place that you’re in. 

If you’re traveling with marijuana, be very careful and avoid traveling over state lines, as this could lead to drug trafficking charges. 

Consult the Professionals

Whether you are facing a family law, protective order, estate planning, bankruptcy and/or criminal-law-related issue, Friedman, Grimes, Meinken & Leischner PLLC is here for you during challenging times.

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