Virginia employers are trying to keep up with the influx of changes and updates to the Virginia employment law landscape, including changes to the state’s marijuana laws.
It still remains unlawful for a person to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act. Such cases can be prosecuted.
However, under a new state law that took effect July 1, a person who possesses marijuana “is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25.”
Thus, while it is unlawful to possess marijuana, the consequences are only civil offenses, not criminal, which explains the ongoing narrative that marijuana possession has been decriminalized in Virginia.
Because marijuana possession is no longer considered a crime, Virginia lawmakers passed new legislation prohibiting prior marijuana convictions from barring employment. The new law made certain past marijuana convictions undiscoverable and then prohibited employers from asking about anything that is undiscoverable. [Read more at Richmond Times-Dispatch]