Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect In Delaware

DELAWARE: Delaware has officially decriminalized possession by adults of small amounts of marijuana.

A decriminalization law signed in June by Gov. Jack Markell took effect early Friday morning.

The law makes possession by an adult of a “personal use” quantity of marijuana, defined as an ounce or less, a civil offense punishable by a fine of $100. Simple possession remains a criminal offense for anyone under 18. For those between the ages of 18 and 21, a first offense will result in a civil penalty, but any subsequent offense would be a misdemeanor.

Delaware House OKs Marijuana Decriminalization

DELAWARE: Delaware House lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation that would treat simple marijuana possession and personal use by adults like a traffic violation, replacing criminal penalties with civil fines.

The bill passed the House by a 24-14 vote, and now heads to the Senate.  Gov. Jack Markell supports decriminalization. No House Republicans voted in favor of the legislation on Tuesday.

Some opponents said decriminalization would embolden drug dealers operating in a black market. Others say it could prevent police from initiating important searches on suspicion of simple marijuana possession.