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Delaware governor signs decrim bill into law

Posted on June 20th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisDelaware's Gov. Jack Markell on June 18 signed into law House Bill 39, decriminalizing possession and use of personal quantities of cannabis. The bill, which was approved by the state senate earlier that day, eliminates criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce. Police may still confiscate the cannabis, however. The penalty for public use is reduced to a $100 civil fine. Selling will remain a criminal offense. Prior to the new legislation, simple possession was a misdemeanor with penalties of up to six months in prison and as a $1,150 fine. A statement from the governor's office on the new law said: "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." The law will take effect in six months. (Jurist, June 20)

The new law does not apply to those under the age of 18, for whom simple possession will remain a misdemeanor. For those between the ages of 18 and 21, the first offense will result in the civil penalty but any further offenses will escalate to a misdemeanor. (Leafly, News Journal, June 19)

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans in Delaware are arrested at three times the rate of whites. National trends indicate these disparities are not a reflection of usage rates and exist even where cannabis use among Black populations is similar to that among white populations. (Policy Mic, June 19)

Photo by prensa420

 

 

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