Virginia labs will no longer process some pot evidence

STATE-NEWSLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Department of Forensic Science will no longer process marijuana in its labs for evidence in misdemeanor cases. Officials say the move is part of an effort to limit the number of backlogged drug cases. The department implemented the changes in its marijuana analysis policy last month. The News & Advance reports that starting next year, the agency will discontinue the routine analysis of marijuana in simple possession cases without a court order. State forensics director Linda Jackson says law enforcement officers can testify in court on their field test results. Data show the backlog of drug cases at the state forensics laboratories nearly quadrupled in controlled substances since September 2010. In the last year, the average turnaround time in controlled substance cases neared 70 days.

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