RICHMOND (WRIC) - DC's City Council has voted to decriminalize marijuana possession. This means having less than an ounce will not be a criminal offense, unless it's on federal property. Could Virginia be close behind?
T.J. Thompson served his country for six years, but when he left the military, he had a medical issue with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I tried the prescription drugs that the VA hospital here in Hampton has given me and actually overdosed one night," he says.
So Thompson gave up the prescriptions for his PTSD and started buying pot on the street. He says it's a risk that's worth it.
"It helps me be a more productive father and a more productive employee and it helps me. So I'm breaking the law basically."
But lawmakers like Delegate Bob Marshall say pot is not the answer.
"It dulls your critical faculties,” he says. “Your memory is impaired. Your sharpness, the quickness and response and understanding are diminished."
As more states move to allow marijuana in some capacity, Virginia’s time could be coming as well.
Delegate Ken Plum says he may introduce legislation to loosen restrictions on marijuana next session.
But my suspicion is it's time now to make a change,” he says. “The current system is unfair to people who have medical conditions who need access to marijuana. It's unfair to people who have some limited recreational use and are not going to abuse the drug."
But until then, users like Thompson will keep speaking up until they can buy marijuana legally.
"There are so many people who are using marijuana illegally so it's time to bring it out of the closet and into the open break the stigma."