DOVER — 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.”
The 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.