A new marijuana law in VA allows the use of marijuana oils for the treatment epilepsy to be an affirmative defense to a possession of marijuana charge, Muhammad Elsayed explains.
Against the backdrop of continually evolving marijuana laws throughout the region and country, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a law that authorizes the use of marijuana oils for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
Under the new marijuana law, possession of marijuana oils remains technically illegal. However, the new law provides that written certification from a licensed physician authorizing the individual to use marijuana oils for the treatment or alleviation of severe epilepsy is now an affirmative defense to a possession of marijuana charge.
In addition, this marijuana law states that when this written certification is provided to the court and attorney for the Commonwealth in a timely manner, it is presumed that the accused individual possessed the marijuana oils for valid medical purposes. The law provides detailed rules regarding the prescribing of marijuana oils for the treatment of epilepsy and the proper form of the written certification of valid medical use.
New Marijuana Law May Indicate Slight Shift in Attitudes Towards Medical Marijuana
Although Virginia marijuana law has technically allowed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for the treatment of glaucoma and cancer for many years, that law has been largely ineffective due to federal regulations.
While this new law is a very small and limited step towards the legalization of medical marijuana in Virginia, it is nonetheless a significant development that may benefit Virginians who suffer from severe epilepsy. It may also signal a slight shift in attitude in the Virginia Legislature toward the medical use of marijuana. For the time being, however, marijuana possession, other than the exception for those suffering from severe epilepsy, remains illegal in Virginia.
Contact Greenspun Shapiro PC Today
If you or someone you know needs the help of a trusted Fairfax, VA criminal defense attorney to defend you against a possession of marijuana charge, contact Greenspun Shapiro PC. Our attorneys know the most up-to-date marijuana laws and are experienced at defending individuals accused of possessing marijuana and other illegal substances.