Medical Marijuana: Delaware

Marijuana Penalties in Delaware

Possession of marijuana is classified as a demeanor

  • Possession of any amount of marijuana: maximum six months in jail and a fine of $1,150
  • Possession of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school: maximum 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000
  • Possession of marijuana within 300 feet of a church, park, or recreation area: maximum 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000

Manufacture or delivery of marijuana is classified as a felony

  • Manufacture or delivery of marijuana in any amount: a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
  • Sale of marijuana to a person under the age of 21: a maximum of five years in prison
  • Sale of marijuana to a person under 16 years of age: a mandatory minimum sentence of six months imposed
  • Sale of marijuana to a person under 14 years of age: a mandatory one year minimum sentence imposed
  • Marijuana purchased from a minor under 21 years old: a maximum sentence of five years in prison
  • Marijuana purchased from a minor under 16 years old: a six month mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum sentence of five years
  • Marijuana purchased from a minor under 14 years old: a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and maximum sentence of 5 years

Trafficking of marijuana is classified as a felony

  • For amounts greater than 5lbs: a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $25,000
  • For amounts greater than 100lbs: a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of $50,000
  • For amounts greater than 500lbs: a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years in prison and a fine of $100,000

The use or possession of paraphernalia

  • The use or possession of paraphernalia is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,300
  • The sale of paraphernalia is classified as a felony punishable by up to two years in prison
  • The sale or delivery of paraphernalia to a minor is punishable by up to five years in prison

The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act

On June 23, 2009, Senate Bill 94 – An Act to Amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code Creating the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act – was introduced in the Delaware Senate by Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington).

The legislation, based on the Marijuana Policy Project’s model bill, would enable patients suffering from a serious medical condition to use marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Access to medical marijuana will be provided through state-licensed compassion centers.

In summary:

  • A patient would only be protected from arrest of controlled substance laws if his or her physician certifies, in writing, that the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition and that the patient would receive therapeutic benefit from medical marijuana
  • The patient would send a copy of the written certification to the state Department of Health and Social Services and the Department would issue an ID card after verifying the information
  • Police officers could verify an ID card’s validity with the Department. As long as the patient is in compliance with the law, there would be no arrest
  • Patients would be allowed to possess up to 6 ounces and to cultivate up to 12 plants for their medical use
  • All cultivation would have to occur in an enclosed, locked facility
  • Patients would be allowed to designate a caregiver or two who would also receive an ID card
  • Each caregiver may assist no more than five qualifying patients
  • State-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana would be allowed
  • The Department of Health and Social Services would issue registration certificates to qualified applicants, who would have to abide by the rules on security, record keeping, and oversight provided for by the model medical marijuana legislation, in addition to any additional rules that the Department may develop
  • All dispensaries would be subject to random inspection and all of their staff would have to register with the Department of health
  • The Bill would provide a medical necessity affirmative defense that patients who needed more marijuana than was provided for by rule or who did not possess their ID cards can raise in court
  • The Bill maintains commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana
  • Employers are not required to allow patients to be impaired at work or to allow the possession of marijuana at a workplace
  • Insurance providers would not have to cover medical marijuana

Summary of states with pending medical marijuana legislation

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