WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Let's Be Blunt: Locals Push for Decriminalization of Marijuana

February 25, 2012

Marijuana is the reason Jordan McNeish recently spent six months behind bars.

"It was a relatively small amount, about $400 worth," he said. "I lost that time of my life, put my education on hold."

Just last week, he took his cause to Facebook and created the group "Charlottesville Residents for the Decriminalization of Marijuana." He earned quick support, presenting his research to Charlottesville City Council last Tuesday.

"I got almost 200 signatures plus 90 likes on Facebook, but it's just started," he said.

Decriminalizing marijuana is not an issue councilors have heavily considered before, but McNeish received positive feedback. Councilor Kristin Szakos is one who is questioning the stiff punishment for smoking pot.

"[It's] the question of whether it's really a more dangerous drug than alcohol, whether it's really a good use of our national resources to imprison people for that," Szakos said.

McNeish said his six months in jail cost taxpayers more than $17,000 -- what he calls an unnecessary punishment for an unnecessary crime. Even if he has council support, councilors can't pass anything that goes against state law.

Councilors can, however, pass a resolution to make their thoughts known.

"If alcohol is legal and regulated and taxed, then I think that's a reasonable approach to take with marijuana, as well," Szakos said.

"I think people are just coming along, and in 20 years, I think everyone will probably be on the side of legalization," McNeish said.

There's no word if council plans to take the issue up again at its next meeting.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 140438963