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Marijuana conference to be held at VCU

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Marijuana is at the center of national debate and it's a subject that the Virginia Department of Health will tackle next week.

Also, the Richmond Police Department released details of a bizarre pot bus on Tuesday, the same day the D.C. Council announced it would move forward with legalizing small amounts of marijuana.

The story goes that Richmond Police Officer John Story was on patrol early one January morning when a driver pulled up and asked for directions. Officer Story immediately smelled marijuana in the air.

"We're the only two cars on the road at 4:30 in the morning," said Officer Story. "It might not be the brightest move to ask a police officer for directions while you have marijuana in your car."

The driver's vehicle was searched and he was given a summons for a small amount of pot.

"No matter what you're personal beliefs on marijuana are," said Officer Story. "As police officers, we have to enforce the law."

So does marijuana impede your judgement? Should it remain illegal in the Commonwealth? Those are two topics that will be discussed at VCU Student Commons at a conference next week that's supposed to be the first of its kind in Virginia.

The conference is hosted by the Chesterfield group SAFE, which stands for "Substance Abuse Free Environment."

National speakers will teach police officers and doctors from around the state what marijuana does to your brain and discuss whether pot should be legal.

SAFE says, now is the time to discuss marijuana because according to a recent survey done by the group, marijuana usage among teens in Chesterfield is greater than cigarettes.

Plus, recent poll by Christopher Newport University shows, 72% of Virginians are OK with medicinal marijuana.

Virginia's Marijuana Conference starts next Thursday at VCU Student Commons. Registration for the event is open until March 7.

You can register here: http://www.cvent.com/events/marijuana-conference/event-summary-d773a0aab62d493882aa2f43527170a5.aspx

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