Mark Herring on Drugs



Marijuana criminalization doesn't work; expunge records

In the upcoming legislative session, I will be pushing for needed reforms in the following areas:

Cannabis reform: Criminalizing marijuana possession is not working. It is needlessly creating criminals, saddling people with convictions and costing taxpayers millions each year. The social and human costs are tremendous, and the weight of the system falls disproportionately on African Americans and people of color. There are smarter, better ways we can handle cannabis and that begins with decriminalizing simple possession of small amounts, addressing past convictions and moving towards legal, regulated adult use.

Expanding opportunities for record expungement: Virginia is one of the nation's least forgiving and most restrictive states for individuals who have earned the opportunity to have old convictions and charges expunged from their records. Too often a relatively minor charge or conviction, such as marijuana or alcohol possession, becomes a permanent stain.

Source: Virginian-Pilot opEd for 2021 Virginia Gubernatorial race , Nov 17, 2019

Cannabis reform: decriminalization marijuana possession

Herring is reiterating his call for cannabis reform in Virginia after new data shows that marijuana arrests rose to their highest level in at least 20 years in 2018. Approximately 52% of those arrested in 2018 were under the age of 24, and marijuana arrests accounted for 59% of all drug arrests in Virginia.

Herring called for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, action to address past convictions for simple possession, and a move towards legal and regulated adult use in Virginia.

"While other states are moving to a more sensible approach to cannabis, Virginia is still moving in the wrong direction. It makes absolutely no sense," said Attorney General Herring. "Even more Virginians, especially young people and people of color, are being saddled with criminal records that can drastically affect their lives. Now is the time to put a stop to this costly, unfair, and ineffective approach, and to pursue a better, smarter, fairer course."

Source: Blue Virginia on 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race , Jul 18, 2019

Crack down on dealers & traffickers who profit off addiction

Attorney General Herring has been recognized as one of Virginia's foremost authorities in responding to the heroin and opioid crisis that is touching so many families in Virginia and around the country. He has relentlessly pursued a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes education, prevention, and treatment alongside enforcement, cracking down on dealers and traffickers who profit off addiction and threaten Virginians' lives.

Because he understands that we can't just arrest our way out of this problem, he has relentlessly pursued a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes education, prevention, and treatment alongside enforcement against dealers and traffickers who profit off addiction.

Attorney General Herring launched an unprecedented five-point plan to address the crisis which includes legislation, education, prevention, enforcement, and collaboration. He was recognized with the "Bronze Key Award" for his commitment and effectiveness in addressing substance abuse.

Source: 2020-21 Virginia Governor campaign website HerringForAG.com , Nov 1, 2017

Other governors on Drugs: Mark Herring on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Amanda Chase
Bob McDonnell
Frank Wagner
Justin Fairfax
Ken Cuccinelli
Ralph Northam
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
Tim Kaine
Tom Perriello
VA Senatorial:
Amanda Chase
Corey Stewart
Daniel Gade
Mark Warner
Nick Freitas
Scott Taylor
Tim Kaine

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D) vs.Chase(R) vs.Fairfax(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
DE: Carney(incumbent) vs.Williams(D) vs.Murray(R) vs.Bonini(C)
IN: Holcomb(incumbent) vs.Melton(D) vs.Myers(D)
MO: Parson(incumbent) vs.Galloway(D) vs.Neely(R)
MT: Bullock(retiring) vs.Fox(R) vs.Perry(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.Stapleton(R) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Neill(D) vs.Schreiner(D) vs.Cooney(D) vs.Williams(D)
NC: Cooper(incumbent) vs.Forest(R) vs.Grange(R) vs.Pisano(C)
ND: Burgum(incumbent) vs.Coachman(R) vs.Lenz(D)
NH: Sununu(incumbent) vs.Volinsky(D) vs. fsFeltes(D)
PR: Rossello(D) vs.Garced(D) vs.Pierluisi(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Burningham(R) vs.Newton(D) vs.Hughes(R) vs.Peterson(D)
VT: Scott(incumbent) vs.Holcombe(D) vs.Zuckerman(D)
WA: Inslee(incumbent) vs.Bryant(R) vs.Fortunato(R) vs.Culp(R)
WV: Justice(incumbent) vs.Folk(R) vs.Thrasher(R) vs.Vanover(D) vs.Smith(D) vs.Ron Stollings(D) vs.Salango(D)
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Page last updated: Dec 15, 2020