Decriminalized? — No.
Possession (without any intent to distribute) of any amount is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and a $1,150 fine.
Possession of any amount within 1,000 feet of a school, or 300 feet of a church, park, rec. center or other specified area is a felony, punishable by 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Distributing or cultivating less than 5lbs is a felony, punishable by 5 years in prison and a $1,000-10,000 fine.
Distributing or cultivating 5-100 lbs is a felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of at least 2 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Distributing or cultivating 100-500lbs is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Distributing or cultivating 500lbs or more is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 8 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Distributing any amount to a person under 21 years old is a felony, punishable by 5 years in prison and a $1,000-10,000 fine.
Distributing any amount to a person under 16 years old is a felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of 5 months in jail and a $1,000-10,000 fine.
Distributing any amount to a person under 14 years old is a felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of 1 year in jail and a $1,000-10,000 fine.
Purchasing marijuana from a person under the age of 18 is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Purchasing from a minor under 16 years old is a felony, punishable by a mandatory 6 month sentence in jail, but up to 5 years.
Purchasing from a minor under 14 years old is a felony, punishable by a mandatory 1 year sentence in jail, but up to 5 years.
Possessing paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $2,300 fine.
Distributing paraphernalia is a felony, punishable by 1 year in jail.
Distributing paraphernalia to a minor is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Medical Program? — Yes.
SB 17, the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act, which is largely based on the Marijuana Policy Project’s model bill, will remove criminal sanctions and provide protection from arrest for the compassionate, doctor-recommended use of medical marijuana by Delaware patients with serious medical conditions. When the law goes into effect on July 1, it will immediately include a limited affirmative defense for seriously ill patients to assert in court until ID card applications are available. Patients will not be able to grow their own medicine, and will be allowed to possess up to six ounces of marijuana. The program will also include tightly regulated, limited distribution of medical marijuana by licensing three not-for-profit compassion centers, one in each of Delaware’s counties. More centers can be licensed at a later date.
Decriminalizing Patient Use: A patient will be granted protection from arrest only 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 Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will finalize regulations and registry ID card applications by July 1, 2012. After that, a patient will send DHSS a completed application, including a copy of the written certification, and DHSS will issue an ID card after verifying the information. As long as the patient is in compliance with the law and in possession of an ID card, there will be no arrest.
Qualifying Medical Conditions: The qualifying conditions are: cancer; HIV/AIDS; decompensated cirrhosis; multiple sclerosis; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); agitation of Alzheimer’s disease; PTSD; or a medical condition that produces wasting syndrome, intractable nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, or severe debilitating pain that has not responded to other treatments for more than three months or for which other treatments produced serious side effects.
Compassion Centers (Dispensaries): Delaware’s law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home. Instead, it provides patients with access to their medicine at state-regulated, not-for-profit compassion centers, which will also cultivate the medical marijuana. DHSS will issue a call for compassion center applications by July 1, 2012 and will use a competitive process that scores the applicants’ plans for location, safety, security, and recordkeeping. DHSS should issue registration certificates to the highest scoring applicants in each of the three counties by January 1, 2013, and then issue three additional certificates to the highest scoring applicants by?January 1, 2014. All compassion centers will be subject to inspection and all of their staff will have to undergo background checks. Compassion centers may not advertise medical marijuana sales in print or broadcast and may not share office space with physicians. The bill will also create an additional felony with a possible two-year prison term and $2,000 fine to punish anyone who sells medical marijuana to someone unauthorized to possess it.
Patient Age and Possession Limits: Patients, who must be at least 18 years of age, will be allowed to possess up to six ounces for their medical use. Caregivers, who may serve up to five patients, can pick up medicine for very ill, homebound patients and possess it on their behalf. Compassion centers may only dispense three ounces to a patient every 14 days, and a patient may only register with one compassion center.
Patient Medical Necessity Affirmative Defense: Upon its effective date of July 1, 2011, Delaware’s bill will provide a medical necessity affirmative defense that can be raised in limited circumstances by patients who do not possess registry cards and possessed six ounces or less or marijuana. The defense will be available only from the day of the law’s enactment until 75 days after ID card applications become available, as well as during the time between a patient’s submission of a valid application and receipt of the registry card.