The History of Marijuana in Delaware

Delaware has a history with marijuana that dates back to the early 1900s, when there was a nationwide trend in marijuana prohibition. Cannabis remained illegal in the state until the recent push for marijuana legalization across the United States. Now, Delaware is walking away from these dated prohibition laws and toward full legalization, especially considering that in 2016 61% of Delaware residents supported implementing marijuana reform.

In 2011, Delaware signed into law a medical marijuana program allowing card carrying patients to purchase up to six ounces of cannabis from a local dispensary. Under the law patients still struggled to obtain their medicine because the first compassion center didn’t open until four years after the legislation was actually signed. Then in 2015, the state decriminalized marijuana to a civil violation of $100, which was previously a misdemeanor with a fine of $575 and up to three months in jail. The state only continues to move forward now as it establishes its task force on taxing and regulating marijuana composed of agency heads, lawmakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who hope to soon replace marijuana prohibition with proper regulation.


When former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean on October 3, 2019, the public reaction was a combination of relief and exasperation. The case starkly reflects the flaws in the current landscape of American criminal justice: Guyger, who is white, killed Jean, a 26-year-old black man, while he was relaxing after work in his living room. Guyger invoked Texas’ "Stand Your Ground" law, claiming she was justifiably scared for her life when she wandered into his unlocked home after work, mistaking it for hers in the same apartment complex.

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