Delaware Public Media

General Assembly to consider further decriminalization of pot

Mar 31, 2019

Some lawmakers are pushing to decriminalize the possession of marijuana by minors.

State law already makes adult possession and use of a personal amount of cannabis a civil violation.


But legislation sponsored by State Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover) would extend decriminalization to Delawareans under the age of 21 possessing or using a personal amount.

Paradee said his measure makes the law more equitable for juveniles in Delaware.

“We really just wanted to address those young people and make sure they don’t incur a charge that’s going to ruin their lives and perhaps prevent them from getting into college or getting student loans or being accepted into the military,” he said.

Paradee said his bill gives juveniles a chance to avoid ending up in the criminal justice system.

“There are still people getting arrested in this state for small possession charges so I think there’s some more work that needs to be done in this regard,” he said.

It remains a misdemeanor for a juvenile to use marijuana in a public area or in a vehicle.

Paradee’s bill is part of a package of 19 pieces of legislation aiming to revamp the state’s criminal justice system. It addresses laws impacting adult and juvenile offenders.