The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act came into law on May 13, 2011; legislation detailed in Delaware Senate Bill 17 was authorized by Governor Jack Markell. Please bear in mind that, once a bill is signed into law it always takes at least a year for the administrative functions to be organized and, perhaps, another twelve months before they are put into place. In fact, Delaware state regulators have been given up to one year to draft the regulations that will govern the program. So, no rushing to get your weed card yet!
The details of the Bill are as follows:
Delaware Medical Marijuana – Eligible Medical Conditions
“Debilitating medical condition,” means one of the following in the context of The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act:
Diagnosis of the following conditions:
- positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
- acquired immune deficiency syndrome,
- hepatitis C
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- post-traumatic stress disorder
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- cachexia or wasting syndrome
- severe, debilitating pain, that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects
- severe nausea
- seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
Glaucoma, when the written certification is signed by a properly licensed ophthalmologist subject to Chapter 17, Title 24 of the Delaware Code
Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the Department, as provided for in §4906A.
Delaware Medical Marijuana – How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient (Eventually)
Delaware’s application system for medical marijuana registration is expected to go live this month, July 2011 and state-issued ID card; these cards may not be issued until after July 1, 2012.
. In the meantime a limited affirmative defense is operational. This does not prevent an arrest or a prosecution. It can, though, be raised and proven in court to prevent a conviction. If all of the conditions are met, the prosecution should be dismissed.
The affirmative defense only applies if:
• The patient is in possession of no more than six ounces of marijuana and no plants.
• The patient possessed marijuana solely to treat or alleviate the his or her serious or debilitating medical condition (see above).
• The patient’s physician has stated that, “in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the individual’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from marijuana to treat or alleviate the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition.”
• The patient was undertaking any of the activities prohibited in §4904A of the law, such as driving under the influence of marijuana; possessing marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, in a jail, or in a state-funded health care or treatment facility; or smoking marijuana in a public place or in any form of transportation.
Delaware Medical Marijuana – Validity to Apply for a State Issued Medical Marijuana ID Card
Only the following basic guidelines are available at the moment:
- You must have been resident in the state of Delaware for longer than 30 days
- You should obtain a copy of your medical records indicating that you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition
- Obtain written documentation from a physician licensed in the state of Delaware that that you are a qualifying patient
- You must take your medical records with you to your appointment
- Apply for and receive a Medical Marijuana Card from the state of Delaware
Delaware Medical Marijuana – Access to Marijuana and Allowed Amounts
The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act does not allow for patients or caregivers to cultivate their own cannabis. Instead the state will license at least one not-for-profit Compassionate Care Center per county; these centers will grow and dispense medical marijuana to patients or their designated caregivers.
Currently, the legislation states that patients and their caregivers may possess up to six ounces (170 grams) of marijuana. The state of Delaware does not allow for patients or caregivers to grow or cultivate their own cannabis. Instead, their medicine must be purchased from state licensed compassionate care centers, which will also grow its supply of cannabis.
Delaware Medical Marijuana – Designated Caregivers
Designated caregiver” means a person who:
- is at least 21 years of age;
- has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana;
- has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense; and
- assists no more than five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana.