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Temporary Protection for Delaware Medical Marijuana Patients

Posted by Jason Draizin on 07/29/2011 in Medical Marijuana Laws

Delaware became the 16th medical marijuana state back in May, but as most Delawarians are aware, the program may not be in full swing until as late as July of 2012! But never fear. The people behind the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act realize that it takes time to implement a successful cannabis program, and the state offers a bit of protection until state-issued ID cards are available with an affirmative defense, which went into effect on July 1, 2011.

Unfortunately the affirmative defense does not prevent an arrest or a prosecution, but it can be raised and proven in court to prevent a conviction. If all of the conditions are met, the prosecution is supposed to be dismissed. And remember that defense only applies if:

  • The patient is in possession of no more than six ounces of marijuana and no plants.
  • The patient possessed marijuana solely to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
  • The patient’s physician has stated that, “in the physician's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the individual's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from marijuana to treat or alleviate the individual's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the individual's serious or debilitating medical condition.”
  • The patient was not doing any of the activities prohibited in §4904A of the law, such as driving under the influence of marijuana; possessing marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, in a jail, or in a state-funded health care or treatment facility; or smoking marijuana in a public place or in any form of transportation.