The General Assembly session is rapidly coming to a close and the House Judiciary Committee may kill efforts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Chairman Joe Vallario is leading the effort to kill the bill:
The Senate passed the bill by a 36-8 vote earlier this year. Vallario opposed the bill last year and continues to be the major hurdle to a full vote in the House of Delegates. The ACLU, in its statement, said Vallario “has been lobbying his committee members to reject the measure in 2014.”
Vice Chair Kathleen Dumais is also deeply ambivalent about the bill:
In an interview last week, Dumais expressed doubt for the bill’s prospects, saying she “is not so sure it’s the right message to send to young people.”
“I’m just not ready to make that leap,” Dumais said. “My committee has never been real comfortable with it and to be honest I’m not that comfortable with it. Maybe there’s something we can do with it. We haven’t had a full discussion because it hasn’t come up for a vote yet.
“I don’t think it’s going to move this year but I could be wrong,” Dumais said.
The ACLU released results from a poll showing strong support for the Senate bill in their two districts as well as Del. Frank Conaway as part of an effort to build pressure for the bill’s passage. You can see the full results in .pdf form here: