Petition for SB 686

When the General Assembly Senate Courts of Justice committee convenes next January, one of the bills that it will be hearing is SB 686, which will decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.  While we are not yet sure whether the committee will recommend the bill to the full Senate or will pass it by, we have created a petition on so that you can add your name and let committee co-chairs Mark Obenshain and William Stanley know that you want this bill to go to the full Senate floor to be voted on by all Senate members.

News of Sen. Ebbin’s bill has been getting more and more coverage in the media. We would like to specifically point out this editorial by AltDaily’s Jesse Scaccia, which lays out the argument much better than we have thus far:

Last year, some 23,000+ Virginia residents had their life narratives forever altered for the worse due to marijuana arrests. This is bad for our society. It is a bad use of limited law enforcement dollars. It is simply bad policy, and it’s time for it to change.

Time saved from arresting non-violent marijuana smokers would be put toward catching and convicting our society’s true evil doers: rapists, gang members, pedophiles, and others doing objective damage to the health and well-being of the Commonwealth.

Marijuana is less likely to lead to violence and crime than alcohol. It is less addictive than prescription pain pills. As anyone who has listened to the Beatles or Bob Marley knows, marijuana is a plant that induces people to be peaceful, dreamy, loving, and goofy. It’s time for the hypocrisy to end. Use your voice to support this bill. This is our Virginia. It is whatever we want it to be.

8 thoughts on “ Petition for SB 686”

  1. How can I help?

    I want to see this passed!

    What happens if the signature goal isnt reached?
    Why is the goal 3000?
    Also Im surprised the number of signers is SO LOW. What the heck is wrong with Virginia?

    1. Hi Drew, if you would like to help, please share the petition with your friends and associates on FB or other social media. You can also contact your legislators, or even better yet, come to Richmond next Friday, the 16th, to meet with us at the NORML Lobby Day where we will meet with them directly!

      Regarding the goal: The number is arbitrary, we’ve changed it from 100 to 500 and so on as it’s gained traction. When I started it several weeks ago 2500 seemed like a huge goal, but we’ve had some good publicity and word of mouth that has helped us. We’re going to do another push later this week to try and get the last 300 names that we need before Lobby Day, so any help would be appreciated.

      It does seem that we should have a lot more names on this thing by now, but I suppose it’s because we’ve had some success targeting people who are already outspoken on marijuana. We haven’t had so much success getting to those people who would be in support of legalization, but not so much so that they would post something that says so on FB.

      There’s also the factor that we’ve been primarily driving this on social media. I will actually be speaking before my City Council next week to try and change that, and Lobby Day should help as well.


    1. I believe that the 14th is the day that sessions start. The bill has already been referred to the Courts of Justice subcommittee, which I believe doesn’t meet until later in the month. We had a similar concern late last month, but we were assured by our contacts over at VANORML (who are in touch with Senator Ebbin’s office) that my fears were incorrect. What will happen is that the Criminal subcommittee will have a public input session where the public will be able to speak regarding the legislation. Lobby Day we will be speaking with the Senators and Delegates in general.

      Thanks for your interest, keep spreading the word.

  2. Hey guys, I’m a newbie need to know how I can help I’ve got at least 45 ppl who would definitely support. Tell us what we need to do.

    1. Tiffany, right now we need people to contact their state Senator and tell them of your support for Senator Ebbin’s SB686. You can go to to find out who that is. Sen. Ebbin is also requesting that we find people who have stories to tell before the General Assembly, so if any of your friends have a story about how prohibition has affected them, please let us know and we can pass that info on to Sen. Ebbin.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *