Delaware, the tax haven of the United States. It’s one of only six states in the country with a population below 1 million. It’s also the second smallest state by land area, and the first state to be admitted to the Union. This has nothing to do with weed though, so let’s get to the point. Medical weed is legal in Delaware, while recreational is not.
That said, recreational use has been decriminalized for small amounts. But let’s keep the good news rolling, because there is currently a bill being reviewed that would legalize weed for adult use.
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The Legalization Bill
The legalization bill, officially known as The Delaware Marijuana Control Act, aims to make cannabis use legal for people 21 years and older. It’s definitely restricted compared to some other states, but the main thing is it exists.
Adults of Delaware could possess up to an ounce of legal weed, including no more than 5 grams of concentrates. Growing at home would also remain illegal. To begin with, there would be a maximum of 15 retail shops allowed. Not too bad when you consider the size of Delaware. After three years, this number could be expanded should it not be sufficient to keep up with demand. The rest of the details seem pretty standard, but if you’re interested you can check them out here.
The bill has passed the House Revenue and Finance Committee, and is sitting with the House Appropriations Committee.
Plan B – It’s All About Location
If the above bill fails to become law, there is a plan B. This plan is something that the state of Delaware has no control over – its location. Over half of the states population lives in the greater Wilmington area. This area is part of the countries largest megalopolis, the Northeast megalopolis, sometimes referred to as BosWash.
Now to be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything, and the megalopolis is just a human defined area, but it does represent how close the majority of Delaware’s population is to other cities and states. And if there’s one thing that all states hate, it’s losing tax revenue to other states.
Currently the closest city for residents of Delaware to find legal recreational weed is Washington. This is a minimum two hour drive away, not short by any means, but still doable. This distance could soon be slashed with both Maryland and New Jersey looking at paths to legalization. Not to mention all the talk and rumors about New York legalizing too. And then up the other end of the megalopolis, there’s Connecticut and Rhode Island that are looking to legalize too.
Decriminalized Weed In Delaware
Regardless of whether the legalization bill passes, adults can breathe a little easier knowing that possession of weed is no longer a criminal offense. Provided you have less than an ounce, and there is no intention to distribute, there will be no possibility of jail. Instead, it will be counted as a civil violation accompanied by a $100 fine. This came into law in 2015.
Medical Weed In Delaware
Delaware’s medical marijuana laws were signed in 2011. To be eligible for the program you must:
- have a qualifying condition
- have doctor’s certification that it is severe and debilitating
- you have tried more traditional treatment methods already
- there is evidence that you will benefit from the medical marijuana program
Currently, the possession limit is set at 6 ounces, smashing the proposed recreational limit. Like the recreational bill, it is currently illegal for patients to grow at home. There is however another bill floating around that would allow patients to grow up to six plants. This bill was initially introduced in June 2019, and is currently sitting with the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee. Delaware has a lot of potential avenues to legal weed. Hopefully, one of them comes through with the goods soon.