Delaware House decriminalizes marijuana possession

WILMINGTON, Del. — 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.



Bill would allow marijuana oils for Del. kids with seizures

Rylie Maedler, 9, of Rehoboth Beach plays with brother Korban, 3. Rylie suffers from non-epileptic seizures and is pushing for legislation that would allow Delaware minors to use marijuana oils to treat seizures.(Photo: CHUCK SNYDER/Special to the News Journal)

Rylie Maedler's seizures started after 2013 surgery to remove a benign but aggressive tumor that spread from her jaw to the palate of her mouth.

Now Maedler's seizures come and go, but can have a devastating impact.

They leave the Rehoboth Beach 9-year-old dizzy, her legs numb and immobile, and with headaches that can last for days.


Debate delayed on marijuana decriminalization

Legislation that would treat simple marijuana possession like a traffic violation has stalled in the Delaware House of Representatives while decriminalization supporters meet with law enforcement groups and others opposed to the measure.

Delaware Rep. Helene Keeley, a Wilmington Democrat, is sponsoring the decriminalization bill, which would end criminal penalties for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana.


Facing more delays, marijuana patients endure

Four years after Delaware medical marijuana legislation passed, patients are still forced to buy pot illegally.

Deb McPherson, of New Castle, is medical marijuana cardholder. She is one of 200 Delawareans certified by the state under a 2011 law to use pot.(Photo: SUCHAT PEDERSON/THE NEWS JOURNAL)

For Deb McPherson, marijuana is medicine. But purchasing the drug is nothing like buying pain pills or picking up a blood pressure prescription at a local pharmacy.

"It's extremely difficult," said McPherson, 47, of New Castle. "You're asking around everyone you used to know in high school. You're hitting people up on social media."


Widespread Marijuana Legalization Changes Workplace Policies and Practices

As legalization spreads, in a variety of forms, managers and workers are facing some tough questions about how the new laws impact policies and practices. Let's take a look at how marijuana legalization is being handled in the workplace. First, here are a couple of things you should know.

Be sure you know your state's laws.

Regardless of your own personal feelings about marijuana, It's important to stay current on the state of the drug laws in your area, as well as your company's individual policies on drug use — especially if you're a manager. Keeping up to date with policies, whether you agree with them or not, is a crucial first step to understanding the way the changes impact your company and your team.


Another delay for medical marijuana dispensary

Stephen Haner, 61, of Lewes, uses marijuana to help manager his multiple sclerosis. Opening of the state's only medical marijuana dispensary was delayed until June from this month.(Photo: JENNIFER CORBETT/THE NEWS JOURNAL )Buy Photo


Two-hundred Delawareans authorized to use marijuana for medical reasons now must wait until June before they're able to legally buy the drug.

Delaware's only dispensary, First State Compassion Center, near Wilmington, was scheduled to open this month. But construction delays pushed off the opening until June, says Mark Lally, the center's president.

The latest delay is relatively minor, partly caused by electrical issues and the complications of growing marijuana from seed, Lally said.


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