DELAWARE: Voting along party lines, Senate lawmakers gave final legislative approval on Thursday to a measure that decriminalizes the possession and private use of up to an ounce of marijuana, and Gov. Jack Markell almost immediately signed the legislation into law.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington, allows Delawareans to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and use the drug privately without facing criminal sanctions.
Criminal penalties for simple possession will be replaced with a civil $100 fine. The law takes effect six months after Markell’s signature.
An amendment discussed in committee on Wednesday, to reduce the amount of marijuana in the legislation to a half ounce, did not make it to the floor for debate. The decriminalization measure, which cleared the House earlier this month, passed despite significant opposition from police groups and from Republicans.