Governor's Signature Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Pot

Jun 19, 2015

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed legislation decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Markell signed the bill Thursday shortly after it passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on a straight party line vote.

The measure also received no Republican support when it passed the Democrat-led House earlier this month. Republicans say it sends the wrong message to young people, even though it keeps simple possession a criminal offense for anyone under 18.

The legislation, which takes effect in six months, eliminates criminal penalties for possession by an adult of one ounce of marijuana or less for personal use. Instead, it would be a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

Smoking pot in a moving vehicle, in public areas or within 10 feet of public property would be a misdemeanor.