Legislation to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis has been introduced in Delaware by Representative Helene Keeley with over a dozen cosponsors.
The proposal would set the legal limit for those who can possess cannabis at 21, and would impose an $100 fine on those consuming cannabis in public. Under current Delaware law, possession of small amounts of marijuana is currently prosecuted as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,150.
Senator Bryan Townsend, a co-sponsor of the legislation, called the measure the “first step” towards fully legalizing and regulating cannabis, including cannabis retail outlets.
“So many people’s entry into the criminal justice system involves possession or use of very small amounts of marijuana,” says Townsend. “There are very serious drugs, we need to treat people’s addictions and we need to penalize drug dealers. In my mind, marijuana is not in the same grouping as a lot of the drugs we need to be focusing our efforts on.”