Delaware’s House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee has given approval to House Bill 371, a proposal to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.
Under the proposed law, introduced by Representative Helene Keeley, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would become a simple $250 fine for those 21 and older, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor as it is currently. The fine would double if not paid within 90 days, and laws regarding minors would remain unchanged.
“The main reason I’m doing this is day in and day out, I see folks who are applying for positions and they are denied employment based upon something they did many years ago”, says Keeley.
The measure is now up for consideration by the full House of Representatives, which has a little over a week left before the end of the current session.
In 2013 Delaware police made 2,632 arrests for simple cannabis possession. Under current Delaware law someone can be imprisoned for up to 6 months, and hit with a misdemeanor charge, for possessing any amount of cannabis.