FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               20 Aug 2001

What:    Your chance to influence marijuana and other drug laws in Virginia.
Where:  Virginia General Assembly, Richmond, Virginia
When:   Aug. 29, 2001 at 10:00 A.M.

Legislative Alert:

    The Legislative committee that is charged with rewriting the criminal code of Virginia has seclude its first meeting for Aug. 29, 2001 at 10:00 A.M. in the Conference room on the 6th Floor of the General Assembly Building at Ninth and Broad Street in Richmond.

    We have established the following (ambitious) goals with regard to our work with this commission:

    1) Eliminate the mandatory minimums instituted by SABRE - These are based on the federal mandatory minimums, although there is a safety valve thanks to CPR.

        2) Mitigate the third time looser law for drug felons At this time someone caught growing marijuana can go to prison for life.  Third time loser provisions for drug offenders are draconian and we must work to eliminate them.

        3) Institute a misdemeanor designation for possession of schedule I & II drugs- under current Virginia law there is no misdemeanor charge for personal possession of drugs other than marijuana. This is a hindrance to the appropriate and humane administration of justice here.

        4) Create a civil penalty for marijuana possession While many offenders do not go to jail for marijuana, too many minority people find themselves locked up for this low level crime. This is one offense that does not need to be punished with jail time for anyone.

        5) Change police policy in such a way that would discourage trivial drug investigations on their part In some Virginia jurisdictions police are giving a high priority to arresting marijuana offenders. They need a clear directive from policy makers regarding the low priority of these arrests.

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                              To contact Virginians Against Drug Violence:
             Virginians Against Drug Violence is a voluntary association of persons
            who participate in activities directed at changing drug policy in our state.
           We have a vision of peace, which recognizes that imprisonment and other
         dehumanizing methods are not good ways to achieve temperance. For more
     information call or write Lennice Werth at (804)645-7838 FAX (804-645-8324)
    Rt.3 Box 692,Crewe, VA 23930 Email or