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Delaware Introduces Legalization Bill

As promised, Delaware Democrat Helene Keeley introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in the state.  House Bill 39 will lessen the punishment of marijuana possession of an ounce or less to a civil fine with no criminal record.

The new bill will cause marijuana possession to result in a $100 fine that will double if not paid within 90 days of the offense.  Currently in Delaware, possession of marijuana causes for a misdemeanor offense with a punishment of up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.  Enacting House Bill 39 will allow authorities to focus on cracking down on more serious criminal and drug offenses.  

Representative Keeley feels, "There are a lot of people out there who, instead of going home and having a martini, or going home and having a glass of wine, they want to go home and take a couple hits. For them that is just as relaxing as having a glass of wine."  The bill has 13 Democratic co-sponsors, including Governor Jack Markell who hopes to sign the bill by June.  The only opposition for the bill is Delaware's state troopers who have "serious concerns" about what decriminalization will mean.