DOVER, Del. (June 14, 2018) – Yesterday, the Delaware Senate unanimously passed a bill that would create a process to expunge the sentences of people charged under the state’s marijuana laws prior to decriminalization. Passage into law would take another step toward nullifying federal marijuana prohibition in effect in Delaware.
Sen. Gregory Lavelle (R-Sharpley) and a bipartisan coalition of 17 co-sponsors introduced Senate Bill 197 (SB197) on May 8. The legislation would provide mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of misdemeanor possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses. To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, the marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction, and it would not apply to charges that were reduced from more serious felony offenses.
On June 13, the Senate approved SB197 by a 20-0 vote.
Delaware decriminalized marijuana in 2015. In the past, there has been some opposition to marijuana legalization bills because laws generally leave those previously charged and convicted unprotected. The introduction of SB197 demonstrates an important strategic point. Passing bills that take a step forward sets the stage, even if they aren’t perfect. Once the door is open, the …
Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
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