Senate Bill 17
146th General Assembly (2011 - 2012)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE CREATING THE DELAWARE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT.
This legislation is based on the Marijuana Policy Project’s model medical marijuana legislation. The Bill creates an exception to a state’s criminal laws to permit the doctor-recommended medical use of marijuana by patients with serious medical conditions. A patient would only be protected from arrest of controlled substance laws if his or her physician certifies, in writing, that the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition and that the patient would receive therapeutic benefit from medical marijuana. The patient would send a copy of the written certification to the state Department of Health and Social Services and the Department would issue an ID card after verifying the information. Police officers could verify an ID card’s validity with the Department. As long as the patient is in compliance with the law, there would be no arrest. Patients would be allowed to possess up to 6 ounces for their medical use. Six ounces is less than the federal government has determined is a one-month supply for patients in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program. The legislation allows them to designate a caregiver who would also receive an ID card. Each caregiver may assist no more than five qualifying patients. The legislation would allow for the state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana. The Department of Health and Social Services would issue registration certificates to qualified applicants, who would have to abide by the rules on security, recordkeeping, and oversight provided for by the model medical marijuana legislation, in addition to any additional rules that the Department may develop. All dispensaries would be subject to random inspection and all of their staff would have to register with the Department of health. It is important that the law provide for both caregivers and dispensaries, since patients in rural areas are unlikely to have access to dispensaries, and because many low-income patients will not be able to afford medical marijuana at dispensaries. In addition, very ill patients would need a caregiver to pick up their medicine for them. The Bill maintains commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana. Employers are not required to allow patients to be impaired at work or to allow the possession of marijuana at a workplace. Insurance providers would not have to cover medical marijuana.
Takes effect upon being signed into law