Recently we reported on a the committee passage of a Virginia bill to end driver's license suspensions for cannabis possession. Now we're happy to report that the measure has been passed by the state's full Senate.
Not only was it approved, it was approved with overwhelming support, with just two members of the 40-member Senate preventing unanimous support.
Senate Bill 1091 now moves to the Virginia House of Representatives. Its passage there would send it to Governor Terry McAuliffe for final consideration. A spokesperson for McAuliffe says he's likely to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.
The initiative was filed with bipartisan support; it was sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin (D), and cosponsored by Senator William Stanley (R). It passed its initial committee; the Senate Committee for Courtse of Justices, with a 14 to 1 vote. It passed its initial reading in the Senate 40 to 0, with two senators switching to a "No" for the final vote.
Below is the official summary for the measure:
Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver's license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill.
Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 1091.