Breaking News: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed two Marijuana reform bills.
The first bill eliminates the automatic driver's license suspension for drug possession charges and the other bill loosens the state's restrictions on cannabidiol oil manufacturing and production.
Previously, anyone charged with drug possession could automatically lose their driver's license for six months. The new reform measure, which goes into effect on July 1, allows a judge to examine each drug possession case individually to decide whether a license suspension is necessary or if alternate punishment, such as community service, is possible.
Reform advocates applaud the change since 40% of license suspensions lead to job loss.
The other legislation loosens restrictions against cannabidiol oil manufacturing in the State of Virginia. The oil, derived from the cannabis plant, is known to treat symptoms for a number of diseases without
creating a high. Previously, intractable epilepsy was the only disease approved for cannabidiol oil treatment.
With this bill's signing, canabidiol oil can now be prescribed to patients suffering from cancer, HIV, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and a number of other diseases. Pharmacies in the Commonwealth will also be allowed to start manufacturing and producing cannabidiol oil for patients.
Critics worry that these measures set Virginia down a slippery slope towards full legalization. But for Virginians suffering from these debilitating diseases, easier access to this life saving drug can't come soon enough.