Bill to prohibit police stops based on marijuana odor has passed in the Va. Senate

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(WDVM) — A bill to end police stops based solely on the smell of marijuana may become law in a few months.

The bill passed in the Virginia state senate on Friday saying that that search and seizures based on the smell of marijuana alone would be illegal.

Senate bill 5029 comes as a way to prevent people of color from being pulled over. According to the ACLU, black people are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person in Virginia.

The bill also reduces certain traffic penalties from primary to secondary offenses, such as driving with tinted windows.

The bill still needs approval from the House of Delegates and Gov. Ralph Northam’s approval in order to become law.

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