By Siona Peterous
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – Advocates for marijuana policy reform will come to Richmond for a conference on Sunday and Monday to push for legislation that would decriminalize simple possession of marijuana by adults as well as expand medical access to the drug.
The Virginia 2018 Cannabis Conference is organized by Virginia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, as well as Cannabis Commonwealth and Virginia Cannabis Group.
Jenn Michelle Pedini, president of NORML’s Virginia chapter, stated in an email that the organization works to reform all marijuana laws so that responsible use by adults is no longer subject to penalty.
Pedini will open the conference Sunday morning at the Marriott Richmond Downtown, 555 E. Canal St. The program, which runs from 9:00 AM to 4:45 PM, will feature a series of speakers.
The keynote speaker will be John Hudak, author of “Marijuana: A Short History.” Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution.
Closing remarks will be made by Delegate Ben Cline, a Republican from Rockbridge County, and by NORML’s national outreach director, Kevin Mahmalji.
The speakers will prepare the attendees for a day of lobbying at the state Capitol on Monday. The marijuana legalization advocates will hold meetings with legislators in the morning and then attend the sessions of the Senate and House.