Lawmakers Advance Marijuana Bill Reducing Penalties for Juvenile Offenders

DOVER, DE — Lawmakers in Delaware have advanced legislation amending criminal penalties for juveniles who violate the state’s marijuana possession laws.

The bill now awaits action from Democratic Gov. John Carney.

Senate Bill 45 eliminates criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession offenses (up to one ounce) for those under the age of 21. Instead, juvenile offenders will face a fine-only civil penalty.

Those with past criminal convictions for juvenile offenses will be eligible for the mandatory expungement of their records.

Under current law, marijuana possession offenses are decriminalized for those ages 21 and older, but remains criminalized for those under the age of 18. Those between the ages of 18 and 21 may be eligible for civil sanctions, depending on their past criminal history.

If signed into law, the new measure will take immediate effect.

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