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Charlottesville leaders want Virginia to relax marijuana laws

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WTVR) - Leaders in one Central Virginia city want the state to rethink it's policies on marijuana.

Charlottesville's city council approved a resolution Monday night, asking the General Assembly to revisit sentencing guidelines for simple marijuana possession.

Council members want to see the current state laws relaxed, treating punishments for marijuana possession like those for people caught with alcohol.

But some, including Charlottesville's police chief, say a less severe punishment would send a bad message to kids.

Under current Virginia law, possession of marijuana is classified as a misdemeanor, carrying a punishment of up to 30 days jail and fines up to $500. Subsequent convictions can carry jail sentences up to 1 year and a $2500 fine.