“There’s definitely a generational shift going on here,” says Rep. Keeley. “There are a lot of people out there who, instead of going home and having a martini, or going home and having a glass of wine, they want to go home and take a couple hits. For them that is just as relaxing as having a glass of wine.”
Keeley’s proposal would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, making it a simple $100 ticket rather than an arrestable misdemeanor.
Governor Jack Markell has indicated that he’s likely to support the measure.
“The governor hasn’t reviewed Rep. Keeley’s proposed legislation, but as we have said in the past, he is open to continuing conversations about decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use,” says Jonathon Dworkin, a spokesman for Markell.
A similar proposal was approved in June by the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, though unfortunately time ran out on the session before a full House vote was scheduled.
Under current Delaware law, the possession of even a miniscule amount of cannabis can result in a 3-month jail sentence. According to polling released in March, 68% of Delaware voters support decriminalizing cannabis.