Delaware Lawmakers Ease Marijuana and Alcohol Laws

Jul 1, 2019

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have given final approval to bill expanding Delaware's decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.

Lawmakers voted 34-to-7 for the bill Sunday, the last day of this year's legislative session.

The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature.

Possessing an ounce or less of marijuana is currently a civil violation for anyone over 21 but a criminal misdemeanor for those under 18. Nineteen and 20-year-olds currently are subject to a civil violation for a first offense but misdemeanor charges for a second or subsequent offense.

The bill makes possession of an ounce or less of pot a civil violation for a first offense in all cases. A third or subsequent offense would subject anyone under 21 to a misdemeanor criminal charge.

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Alcohol

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers have given final approval to a bill making underage possession or consumption of alcohol a civil offense rather than a crime.

The bill passed the state Senate unanimously on Sunday and now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature.

The Senate approved the measure after the House added an amendment making possession or consumption of alcohol by a person under 21 a civil offense only for the first and second offenses. This amendment also removes driver's license revocation as a penalty for a violation.

A violation of the statute would carry a $100 fine for the first offense and not less than $200 for a subsequent offense. 

Information concerning a civil offense violation would not appear on an individual's certified criminal record.