Delaware Decriminalizes Possession, Private Use Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Delaware is joining a slew of other states that are loosening up a bit on the private use of marijuana, with legislators in the Senate giving final approval to a measure that decriminalizes the possession and private use of up to an ounce of the drug. Gov. Jack Markell signed it into law almost immediately.

The bill allows residents to have up to an ounce of marijuana and to use it privately without getting into trouble with the law, reports The News Journal, though police are authorized to confiscate marijuana.

Any criminal repercussions for having marijuana will be replaced with a $100 civil fine instead. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana under the law, and anyone under 21 will still face criminal penalties if caught with pot. It’s also still illegal to consume marijuana in a moving vehicle.

“The governor remains committed to reducing the number of people entering the criminal justice system and refocusing resources where they are needed most and House Bill 39 supports these efforts,” a spokeswoman for the governor’s office said in a statement.

Delaware joins 19 other states and D.C., all of which have stopped charging citizens for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Markell signs Delaware marijuana decriminalization bill [The News Journal]

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