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Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Delaware


Possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use is now legal in the State of Delaware, after several attempts at legalization in recent years failed to gain traction. According to an April 24, 2023 report published by CBS News, the measure passed the legislature and became law because the governor chose to not veto. Individuals aged 21 years or older can now possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use, though people under the age threshold will still face a $100 fine – a civil penalty that does not rise to the level of a misdemeanor.

Legalization of recreational pot in Delaware is welcome news to many, but keep in mind that there are still plenty of laws covering marijuana. Plus, cannabis remains illegal under the US Controlled Substances Act. It is still possible to face criminal charges, and the penalties are severe. If you were arrested, you should retain a Wilmington marijuana crimes defense lawyer for assistance with your case. Some information about the new law is also useful.

Possession of Large Pot Quantities: The view on marijuana is that smaller amounts, for personal use, are not the threat to the public that they were thought to be. An individual who wants to use pot for recreation can now possess up to 1 ounce, but there are still harsh penalties if convicted of possession in larger amounts. For instance:

  • Possessing 1 ounce to 175 grams of cannabis is an Unclassified Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $575.
  • Possession of 175 to 1,500 grams is a Class G Felony. You could be sentenced to 2 years in prison.
  • If you have 1,500 to 5,000 grams of marijuana in your possession, the crime is a Class E Felony. A judge could sentence up to 5 years’ incarceration.
  • Possessing more than 5,000 grams of cannabis is a Class B Felony. A judge must order a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison, but you could receive a maximum sentence of 25 years. 

Note that aggravating factors could result in longer prison terms for possession.

Selling and Distributing Marijuana: The legalization of recreational pot in Delaware only applies to possession offenses, so activities like selling, distributing, growing, and trafficking are still unlawful. These crimes are also based upon weight, starting at a Class D Felony for distribution, sale, or manufacturing less than 1,500 grams of marijuana. The potential sentence is 8 years in prison. It is a Class C Felony to traffic in pot amounts from 1,500 to 5,000 grams, so you could be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years. Distribution in amounts exceeding 5,000 grams is a Class B Felony, punishable as described above.

Fight Drug Charges with Help from a Delaware Marijuana Crimes Defense Attorney

Please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica at 302.600.1262 or check out our website to learn more about Delaware laws on possession, distribution, and trafficking in pot. We are happy to schedule a consultation at our Wilmington, DE office to discuss ways to fight the charges.



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