Is marijuana legal in Virginia?

If you are under the age of 21, it’s illegal to have or use any amount of marijuana. Any person ages 18-21 found in possession of marijuana is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 and will be required to enter a substance abuse treatment and/or education program.

It is legal for adults 21 and older to carry less than one ounce of marijuana in public. Carrying more than one ounce but less than a pound is subject to a $25 civil penalty. Possession of more than one pound is a felony subject to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

It is also illegal for anyone, at any age, to bring marijuana onto school grounds. The punishment is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which could result in up to six months of jail time and up to a $1,000 fine.

Can I consume or smoke marijuana in public?

No. It is illegal for anyone of any age, to smoke or consume marijuana in public. It is also illegal to offer marijuana to someone else, whether they accept it or not. Giving marijuana to a minor in any situation has criminal consequences. The only thing that is legal is having less than one ounce with you, but it must stay in your pocket or bag.

A first offense of using marijuana or offering it to another in public is subject to a $25 civil fine. A second offense requires payment of another fine and entering a substance abuse treatment and education program. A third offense is a Class 4 misdemeanor, which will result in a $250 fine.

Can I consume or smoke marijuana in my car?

No. It’s illegal to smoke or consume marijuana in a vehicle whether you’re the driver or a passenger. Additionally, possession of marijuana in an “open container,” such as a plastic bag or Tupperware, in a motor vehicle will give law enforcement reason to presume you consumed it while driving, which is punishable by a misdemeanor and up to $250 fine.

So You’re 18 is presented by the Virginia State Bar Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations.
For print copies of So You're 18 contact (804) 775-0521 or [email protected].