While the possession of one ounce of cannabis within a private home is no longer a criminal offense in Delaware, the recreational use of cannabis has yet to be legalized within the state. This means that marijuana is not publicly available within the state to residents or tourists. However, for the last five years, card-carrying residents have been able to purchase medicinal marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries.
In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of Delaware, patients must be diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions; terminal illness, cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDS, decompensated cirrhosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, autism with aggressive or self-injurious behavior, intractable epilepsy, or the physical manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder. Conditions and symptoms such as severe, debilitating pain, wasting syndrome, intractable nausea and seizures also qualify patients for the use of medical marijuana.
Once a patient has been diagnosed by their licensed primary care physician they must obtain a copy of their medical records along with written documentation from their doctor stating that they have been diagnosed with such a condition. From there, the patient must register online with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services in order to obtain their medical marijuana card.
It is important to keep in mind that Delaware is currently operating under a type of "gray zone" that still makes it difficult for card-carrying residents to purchase medical marijuana. Due to conflicting laws, there are few medical dispensaries found within the state and those that do exist sell their cannabis at high prices. To make matters worse, medical marijuana patients are also prohibited from growing cannabis within the privacy of their own home. Advocates hope to see an easing in cannabis laws in Delaware in the near future.