Cannabis Possession Now Decriminalized in Delaware

cannabis possessionThe possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense for those 21 and older in Delaware, thanks to House Bill 39 officially taking effect at 12:00am EST on Friday, December 18th.

The new law makes it so that those 21 and older caught possessing up to an ounce of cannabis in Delaware can no longer be arrested, charged with a criminal misdemeanor and put in jail for up to 3 months, as the law previously allowed. The fine is set at a maximum of $100.

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Delaware: Law Decriminalizing Cannabis Possession Takes Effect Tomorrow

delawareHouse Bill 39, a bill to decriminalize cannabis possession which was given approval by lawmakers in Delaware earlier this year, officially takes effect tomorrow, December 18th.

Under the new law, the possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis will no longer be a criminal offense for those 21 and older, but instead will become a maximum fine of $100. Those 18 to 21 will have their first offense decriminalized, with subsequent offenses resulting in a misdemeanor that can be expunged once the individual turns 21.

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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.”

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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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Delaware House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession

The Guardian jointDelaware’s full House of Representatives has passed House Bill 39, a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The vote was 24 to 14.

Under the proposed law, introduced by Representative Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), those caught possessing up to an ounce of cannabis would, at most, given an $100 ticket. Smoking in public, however, would remain a criminal misdemeanor with a potential 5-day jail sentence and a $200 fine.

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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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