Updated on January 3, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana penalties in Delaware are more lenient than in other states, thanks to the establishment of a medical cannabis program that offers true relief to patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. The state has also been one of the nation’s leaders in decriminalization of possession of a small amount of weed for non-medical uses.
Patients with a qualifying medical condition may legally possess up to six ounces of weed. Qualifying conditions include terminal illness, cirrhosis, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy and many others. A patient with PTSD must have a licensed psychiatrist certify that he or she will see benefits from using medical cannabis.
Unfortunately, no home cultivation of weed is allowed in Delaware, and there was only one state dispensary in operation as of March 2017.
Delaware is a marijuana decriminalization state, meaning that people who do not qualify for the medical cannabis program and are caught with a small amount of weed will be cited for a civil infraction similar to a traffic ticket. If, for example, you are caught with an ounce or less of pot, you will not be arrested. Instead, you will be issued a $100 citation.
But the penalties get harsher depending on the amount of weed involved. Anyone convicted of possessing between an ounce and 175 grams (a little more than six ounces) of weed could face up to six months in jail and a fine of as much as $575.
Possession of between and ounce and 1,500 grams (about 53 ounces) is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Punishments gradually increase up to a point to where anyone convicted of possessing 5,000 grams or more (about 11 pounds) will face anywhere from two to 25 years in prison. A conviction of attempting to distribute or sell any amount of marijuana carries a sentence of up to eight years in jail.
If you are caught with paraphernalia (a bong, rolling papers, etc.) associated with the recreational use of less than an ounce of weed, you can be fined $100. If, however, you are convicted of paraphernalia possession associated with the use of an ounce or more of marijuana, you could spend up to six months in jail and face a maximum fine of $1,000. Anyone convicted of delivering paraphernalia to a minor faces up to three years in prison.
However, first-time offenders could be sentenced to probation rather than facing a fine or a jail term. Once probation has been completed, the charge will be removed from the offender’s criminal record.
Delaware also has a “drugged driving” law that forbids operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis. The penalties are similar to driving under the influence of alcohol. A first offense carries a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine between $500 to $1,500. A second offense can result in a jail term of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
Fortunately, deserving patients are able to obtain medical cannabis in Delaware, but they still need a marijuana doctor. MarijuanaDoctors.com is your complete source for Delaware marijuana doctors as well as information about Delaware’s marijuana laws.