Northam calls proposed criminal justice reforms ‘a bold step’

Virginia News

Gov. Ralph Northam (File photo/AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) shared criminal justice reforms Friday that include proposals to decriminalize marijuana, raise the threshold for felony larceny and measures for parole reform.

Northam’s announcement comes less than a week before lawmakers convene in Richmond on Jan. 8 for the upcoming General Assembly session.

“All Virginians deserve access to a fair and equitable criminal justice system,” Gov. Northam said in a statement. 

Northam has proposed to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and instead making it a $50 fine. The governor’s proposed legislation would also pardon individuals’ simple possession convictions.

“My proposed criminal justice reform legislation and budget initiatives will combat mass incarceration, increase supports for returning citizens, and ensure meaningful second chances for those who have paid their debts to society. This is a bold step towards a more just and inclusive Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass these measures into law,” the governor continued.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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