Is Weed Legal in Delaware? Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Delaware? Can Delaware Residents Use Recreational Pot Legally?
The US state of Delaware is located on the east coast and is known as "the first state" ever since December 7th 1787. This is because they were the first to ratify the United States constitution.
Now the question you want answered – Is weed legal in Delaware? Short answer, no. Long answer, kind of no.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Delaware?
Unfortunately, no. Weed is not legal in Delaware for recreational purposes. But with the progressive legalisation laws of weed in recent times this may change.
In 2016, 61% of Delaware residents supported implementing marijuana reform.Morgan Roger of Civilized
Governor Markell passed a decriminalization bill in 2015 that all0wed individuals to possess less than 1 ounce of marijuana at the expense of a $100 fine if caught. And this would be classified as a civil infraction. If you have more than an ounce, you can be fined a minimum of $575 and issued 3 months imprisonment but this can increase with the amount of marijuana you possess.
Under this bill, it was illegal for minors (under the age of 21) to possess any amount of marijuana. However, as of 2019, juveniles also fall under the decriminalization bill.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, "The 2018 law — SB 197 — allows individuals with a single conviction for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana to automatically qualify to clear their record. To receive an expungement, individuals must first request their certified records from the State Bureau of Identification. Then, they pay a fee and fill out a form to apply for mandatory expungement."
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Delaware?
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Delaware. Medical marijuana has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries and is legal in the majority of US states. In 2011, the governor passed a legislation that allowed patients 18 years and older to use marijuana for serious medical conditions – including but not limited to epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Under this legislation, qualifying patients can possess 3 ounces of usable weed every 14 days which equates to no more than 6 ounces per month.
In order to possess medical marijuana, patients must obtain a medical marijuana card that costs $125 which must be renewed on an annual basis. Currently, around 340 Delaware citizens hold medical marijuana cards issued by the Delaware Health and Social Services.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Delaware
Delaware residents cannot grow their own marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. One of 6 active licensed dispensaries in Delaware can provide medical marijuana. The first medical marijuana clinic opened in Wilmington in 2015. The dispensaries are:
- Columbia Care in Rehoboth Beach
- First State Compassion in Lewes
- Columbia Care in Smyrna
- Fresh Cannabis in Newark
- First State Compassion in Wilmington
- Columbia Care in Wilmington
Patients cannot use medical marijuana in a public setting and only in the privacy of their own homes.
Is CBD Legal in Delaware?
Yes, it is. CBD stands for cannabidiol, the second most potent active ingredient of marijuana. It is derived from the hemp plant and by itself does not cause a high unlike THC. CBD is commonly used for medical marijuana purposes such as treating chronic pain, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Cannabidiol can come in the form of CBD oil (normally used to treat seizures), CBD-infused tropical ointments (commonly used to treat muscle and joint pain, eczema and psoriasis) and capsules or pills (used to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders).
Will Weed Become Legal in Delaware?
Considering that many other US states have legalized marijuana, Delaware could easily follow in their tracks. Delaware's neighbouring state, New Jersey, and 14 other US states are pioneering the move into legal recreational marijuana use.
Kathy McGuiness, the Delaware State Auditor, estimates Delaware could generate $43 million in annual revenue from the regulation and taxation of marijuana if it were legalised. The legalisation of weed would "disrupt the illicit marijuana market, end low-level marijuana arrests, and create jobs and new revenue", stated NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano.
That money could be used to plug budget holes in the short term and would continue to provide revenue for all kinds of important initiatives in the long term.Kathy McGuiness, Delaware's State Auditor
The fact that marijuana is illegal in Delaware acts as a barrier to the potential "economic, public health and social equity advantages [of] legalization", said McGuiness.
A Delaware House committee in 2019 approved a bill to legalise marijuana use for adults, however, this did not come to fruition. Representative Ed Osienski plans to reintroduce this bill in 2021. So it could be sooner rather than later that Delaware residents will be able to use recreational marijuana. It's just matter of waiting.
So all in all?
Weed is illegal in Delaware for recreational purposes. If you are caught in possession of less than an ounce, you'll be fined. If you are caught with more than an ounce, you'll be fined more and put in jail. Just don't risk it.
On the other hand, medical marijuana is very much legal assuming you are qualified to obtain a medical marijuana card and only possess and use a maximum of 3 ounces every 14 days in a private home setting.
However, Delaware could see lessened laws in the coming years, in light of recent activism for legal recreational marijuana use in the United States.
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