Virginia Drug Offenses

Like many other states, Virginia drug offenses are taken seriously and carry harsh penalties. The classification and penalties for drug charges are described on this page.

Virginia Code § 54.1-3401 defines “controlled substance” as

“Controlled substance” means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through VI of this chapter. The term shall not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco as those terms are defined or used in Title 3.2 or Title 4.1. The term “controlled substance” includes a controlled substance analog that has been placed into Schedule I or II by the Board pursuant to the regulatory authority in subsection D of § 54.1-3443.

Refer to the Virginia Drug Control Act for the laws for drugs and substances. Included in this are the classifications of substances § 54.1-3446. Schedule I thru § 54.1-3455. Schedule VI.

Marijuana ( Cannabis )

Regarding Marijuana, Virginia Code § 18.2-250.1 states:

§ 18.2-250.1. Possession of marijuana unlawful.

A. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.).

Upon the prosecution of a person for violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of the premises or vehicle upon or in which marijuana was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such marijuana.

Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and be confined in jail not more than thirty days and a fine of not more than $500, either or both; any person, upon a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of marijuana is necessary for the performance of their duties.


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