jack markell

Delaware: New Bill Could Legalize Medical Marijuana For Terminally Ill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Delaware citizens with a terminal illness could get legal medical marijuana if new legislation is passed in the General Assembly.

"With each passing year, we are seeing more data on the benefits of medical marijuana, which is helping to de-stigmatize the medication," said Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark and the bill's sponsor in a news release. "Delawareans facing a terminal illness should be able to access medical marijuana to help ease their symptoms and to cope with an extremely difficult situation."

The change would apply to anyone suffering from a condition that is "deemed fatal within a year regardless of any other medical treatment."

A new law was passed in Delaware just last year to allow cannabidiol and marijuana oil products for patients under 18 who suffer from conditions such as muscle spasms, nausea, and seizures.

Possession of an ounce of marijuana or less was decriminalized last year, making it like a parking ticket.

Gov. Jack Markell signed those bills, but has said that he does not support full legalization like Colorado, Washington, Alaska, or Oregon.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Delaware: Marijuana Decriminalization Law To Take Effect Friday

DelawareSmallWonderMarijuanaRoadSign[MarijuanaStocks.com]

Marijuana decriminalization legislation adopted earlier this year in Delaware will officially take effect on Friday, making it the 19th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession. (A 20th state, Missouri, has a similar law on the books that goes into effect in 2017.)

“Delaware’s marijuana policy is about to become a lot more reasonable,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Most people agree adults should not face jail time or the life-altering consequences of a criminal record just for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Taxpayers certainly don’t want to foot the bill for it, and fortunately they will not have to any longer.”

Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a $575 fine and three months in jail.

Once HB 39 takes effect, the possession or private use of one ounce or less of marijuana will no longer trigger criminal penalties or create a criminal record for adults 21 years of age and older. Instead, it will be a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 20 will face the same $100 civil fine for their first offense, then an unclassified misdemeanor for subsequent offenses, which they can have expunged from their records when they reach age 21. Marijuana possession by minors and public consumption by people of any age will remain misdemeanors.

Delaware: Governor Markell Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

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Delaware becomes 20th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law Thursday night that will remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana. The Delaware Senate approved the bill 12-9 earlier in the evening. The new law will take effect in six months.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, will replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a $575 fine and three months in jail.

Delaware is the 20th state to decriminalize marijuana possession or make it legal for adults. Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws removing the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession, four of which also regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The Illinois General Assembly approved a similar measure in May, which is now awaiting action from the governor.

Delaware: Legislature Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession; Governor Expected To Sign

DelawareSmallWonderMarijuanaRoadSign[MarijuanaStocks.com]

The Delaware Senate on Thursday 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. Jack Markell said he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, would replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a $575 fine and three months in jail.

“Laws that criminalize people for simple marijuana possession are outdated and counterproductive,” Rep. Keeley said. “Delaware is taking an appropriate step to right size the penalty for small quantity possession.”

“Senate action on this bill is commonsense and will remove the potential implication a criminal record can have for a person seeking employment, housing, and education,” Sen. Henry said. “It is important to more appropriately penalize people in possession of marijuana for personal use.”

Delaware: Senate Committee Approves Bill To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana

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The Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill 4-2 that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for simple adult marijuana possession and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. The measure will now be considered by the full Senate.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilimington East) in the Senate, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an adult a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.

The House of Representatives approved HB 39 on June 2, and Gov. Jack Markell (D) said in a March letter to the editor of The New York Times that he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

“Adults should not face potentially life-altering criminal penalties simply for possessing a small amount of marijuana,” Sen. Henry said. "The potential impact for employment, housing, and education are too severe under current law for the violation.”

Delaware: House Approves Bill To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

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Senate will now consider HB 39, which would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a small amount of marijuana by adults

The Delaware House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill 24-14 that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for possession of a small amount of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. The bill, which was amended on the floor to apply only to adults, will now be sent to the Senate.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an adult a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.

“Laws that criminalize people for simple marijuana possession are outdated and counterproductive,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We’re grateful the Delaware House agrees and hopeful that the Senate will join them in supporting this commonsense legislation.

"Delaware cannot afford to continue arresting people, jailing them, and giving them criminal records just for possessing a small amount of marijuana,” Capecchi said.

Delaware: House Committee Approves Bill Removing Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

Delaware-68Percent[MedicalJane]

The Delaware House of Representatives Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday approved a bill 5-4 that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for possession of a small amount of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.

“This is a modest, commonsense policy change that is long overdue in Delaware,” Rep. Keeley said. “Simply possessing a small amount of marijuana does not warrant jail time and the other serious consequences of a criminal conviction. The punishment should fit the crime, not cause more harm than the crime.”

More than two-thirds of Delaware voters (68 percent) support removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession and making it a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100 with no possibility of jail time, according to a statewide survey conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Only 26 percent said they were opposed. Full results are available at http://www.mpp.org/DEpoll.

Delaware: New Poll Shows Majority Support For Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new University of Delaware poll finds that 56 percent of Delaware adults support legalization of marijuana.

The university polled 902 state residents between September 10 and 22, finding just 39 percent are opposed to legalization, reports Jonathan Starkey at The News Journal. Residents older than 60 and self-identified conservatives were the only demographic groups to strongly oppose marijuana, while young adults and liberals were heavily in support.

Support crossed racial and geographic boundaries, with respondents in all three of Delaware's counties saying they back legal weed.

"I would say the numbers suggest solid support for fully legalizing marijuana in Delaware," said Paul Brewer, political communications professor at the University of Delaware, who supervised the poll. "The results also reflect what's going on in public opinion at the national level, where the trends show a growing majority favoring legalization."

Just 36.9 percent of Delawareans 60 or older favored legalization, while 68 percent of those under 30 supported the move. Among self-identified conservatives, just 39.2 percent favored legalization; among liberals, 73 percent said they think cannabis should be legal.

Delaware: Medical Marijuana Advocates Recommend Revising Compassion Center Regulations

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Proposed rules would create supply problems for patients

The Marijuana Policy Project on Tuesday submitted comments recommending revisions to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ proposed medical marijuana compassion center regulations. MPP is particularly concerned that the proposed rules would result in an inadequate supply of medical marijuana by allowing only a single compassion center — instead of the three provided for in the law — and allowing it to grow only 150 plants.

Failing to allow for an appropriate and consistent supply will cause qualifying patients to either have to continue frequenting the criminal market or suffering without a medicine that can improve their quality of life, according to MPP. It will also seriously compromise the financial sustainability of successful compassion center applicants, according to the organization.

Delaware is one of 20 states and the District of Columbia to allow patients to use marijuana to treat certain medical conditions, but development of compassion centers to provide safe access to their medicine was temporarily halted in 2011. In August, Gov. Jack Markell decided to move forward with implementing a more limited program and tasked the Division of Public Health with setting the rules for compassion center licensing and operation.

Since Gov. Markell’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice has released a new memo that provides that federal prosecutors should not target dispensaries based on their size alone.

Delaware: Officials Ready To Restart Dormant Medical Marijuana Program

(Graphic: California Pot Blog)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It's been almost two years since Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed legislation allowing state-regulated distribution of medical marijuana, and now state officials are finally ready to restart the now-halted program.

Gov. Markell signed Senate Bill 17 on May 13, 2011, and said his decision "largely based on [the] guidance" of the Ogden Memo, a 2009 statement from then-Attorney General David W. Ogden, which said it was not a priority of the Obama Administration to prosecute patients and caregivers who are "in clear and unambiguous compliance" with state medical marijuana laws, reports Jeni Rini at Delaware State News.

The act doesn't allow patients to grow their own medical marijuana, but allows patients with certain qualifying conditions such as HIV, cancer, a multiple sclerosis to buy up to six ounces of cannabis from any of three proposed state-regulated compassion distribution centers (dispensaries).

Patients who are at least 18 years old, and caregivers for homebound patients, can apply for a medical marijuana ID card which grants them protection from arrest in the state.

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