Delaware decrim law takes effect
Last update: December 18, 2015
On December 18, 2015, Delaware became the 19th state to implement a decriminalization or legalization law. Six months ago, Gov. Jack Markell signed HB 39, making possession of personal use amounts of marijuana a civil violation. The Senate approved the bill less than an hour earlier in a 12-9 vote, and the House previously approved it 24-14.
Introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley, HB 39 makes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana was previously a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail. Please see our summary of HB 39 for further details.
You can call Gov. Markell at (302) 744-4101 to thank him for his leadership or send him a message on social media or by webmail here.
This important step in marijuana policy reform would not have been possible without a lot of hard work. Many thanks to each of you who raised your voices or made a donation to help stop the cruel criminalization of marijuana consumers. A special thank you to Rep. Helene Keeley, the law’s lead sponsor, and Gov. Jack Markell for his leadership.
Compassion center open as of June 26, 2015
Almost four years after the state’s medical marijuana act was signed into law, Delaware’s first compassion center has finally opened! First State Compassion opened to qualified patients on June 26, 2015. Unfortunately, it is limited to cultivating 150 plants — far too few to meet patients’ needs. MPP submitted comments urging the department to revise the regulations to ensure a workable program. While the department refused to lift the cap now, there is a possibility of doing so later if and when the current regulations prove too limited.
The Department of Health continues to accept applications for medical marijuana ID cards, which will be required for patients seeking to obtain their medicine from a compassion center. If you are interested in obtaining your medical marijuana ID card, please visit the medical marijuana program’s website or call them at (302) 744-4749 to receive application forms. If you have further questions about the medical marijuana program, please see our summary of the law.
MPP’s Noah Mamber and Karen O’Keefe in Dover with Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and several of the state’s most committed patients to watch Gov. Markell sign SB 17.
Ending marijuana prohibition in Delaware
Let your legislators know Delaware should join the four states that have replaced prohibition of marijuana with sensible regulations. The state should take marijuana out of the hands of criminals and impose sensible regulations while generating millions of dollars in tax revenue and creating hundreds of legitimate jobs.
Ending marijuana prohibition by passing legislation to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol will take a diverse coalition of supporters. If you are a member or former member of law enforcement, active or retired military personal, member of the clergy, economist, medical professional, or a victim of marijuana prohibition, and you support ending marijuana prohibition, we’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for supporting MPP. To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Delaware, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.