Delaware Governor Signs Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Into Law

jointDelaware Governor Jack Markell has signed House Bill 39 into law, the same day it was approved by the state’s Senate. The measure decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, removing the possibility of criminal penalties or jail time.

Delaware now becomes the 20th state to remove criminal penalties for the personal possession of cannabis, including four – Colorado, Washington Oregon and Alaska – that have legalized cannabis distribution. The legislation is set to take effect six months from today.

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Delaware Legislature Votes to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession; Governor Expected to Sign Bill Into Law

By Robert Capecchi, Marijuana Policy Project

iowabudDOVER — The Delaware Senate approved a bill 12-9 on Thursday that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana.

The measure, which was approved in the House earlier this month, will now be sent to Gov. Jack Markell (D), who is expected to sign it into law. In a March letter to the editor of The New York Times, Gov. Markell said he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

Read moreDelaware Legislature Votes to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession; Governor Expected to Sign Bill Into Law

Delaware Senate Committee Approves Bill to Remove Criminal Penalties for Cannabis Possession

delawareThe Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill 4 to 2 on Wednesday that would remove criminal penalties and the possibility of jail time for those caught possessing up to an ounce of cannabis, instead making it a simple civil infraction similar to a traffic ticket.

House Bill 39, introduced by Representative Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), passed the full House of Representatives earlier this month with a 24 to 14 vote. It would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, making it, at most, a simple $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail.

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Legislation to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession Filed in Delaware

Delaware Statedelaware Representative Helene Keeley has filed House Bill 39, a proposal to decriminalize cannabis possession.

“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.”

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