Under the legislation, those caught smoking marijuana in a public place would still face a criminal, unclassified misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $200 fine and up to five days behind bars.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who knowingly or intentionally uses or consumes up to a personal use quantity of a controlled substance or a counterfeit controlled substance classified in § 4714(d)(19) of this title in a public place, except as otherwise authorized by this chapter, shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and be fined not more than $200 and imprisoned not more than five days.
Counterfeit marijuana? Or wait one minute!!!!!! “4714(d)(19) Any material, compound, combination, mixture, synthetic substitute or preparation which contains any quantity of marijuana or any tetrahydrocannabinols, their salts, isomers or salts of isomers;” OK my bad, I was thrown off by the world “counterfeit”! Poor choice of wording in this section of H.B.#39. Perhaps it should read “or synthetic substitute” classified in 4714(d)(19.). However. looking at 4714 (d) (26) “Synthetic cannabanoid, which means a substance containing 1 or more of the following chemical compounds “, it might be best to include this section of the law in H.B.#39 as those compounds contain “cannabanoid”.
Personally, I think it may wise to include the AG’s office and a review by law enforcement agencies for their weigh-in before any legislative vote. Then there is the issue of “imprisonment no more than five days”. I think the $200.00 fine is enough for first offense and the five days be added to second offense followed by five more days for each additional offense there after re: usage in public. Do we have enough jail space re: cross bar hotel for these offenders? The law says, $200.00 “and” imprisonment not more than five days!
I don’t oppose decriminalization of marijuana but caution a legislative vote without a real impact study. Business that do pre-employment and random drug screens need clarification prior to passage of this legislation. I am also very concern that the demand for marijuana will increase with decriminalization creating cash-flow for organized crime involved in the drug trade where street violence is a concern. What I am asking is full clarity of H.B.#39 not just a piece of legislation addressing the nagging social question of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. A big question for Governor Markell, what impact of decriminalization of marijuana have on industry where many created zero tolerance policies confronting usage of marijuana? Many applying for jobs where a pre-employment drug screen are required are excluded for employment because of “trace” amount of marijuana and same goes for random drug screens of current employees. Industry stepped up to protect themselves and yes, worker-comp and insurance liability rates. I wonder if Rep Keeley has the blessing of Delaware employers?