NORML.ORG – Delaware: Lawmakers Approve Measure To Regulate State-Authorized Use And Distribution Of Medical Marijuana

Dover, DE: Lawmakers have approved legislation, Senate Bill 17, allowing for the state-authorized use and distribution of medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 17, The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act amends state law so that patients with an authorized "debilitating medical condition" can possess and consume cannabis obtained from state-licensed facilities. The measure provides for the establishment of at least one non-profit ‘compassion center’ per county that would be licensed by the state to produce and dispense medical cannabis.

Recommending physicians must have "bona fide physician-patient relationship" with a person before recommending the use of medical cannabis. Medical conditions that may qualify for cannabis under the proposal include: cancer, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as cachexia, chronic pain (if the condition has not responded to previously prescribed medications), severe nausea, seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

Senate Bill 17 also provides medical marijuana patients who are not registered with the state to raise an ‘affirmative defense’ motion to dismiss at trial.

The measure now goes before Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, who is expected to sign it. If SB 17 becomes law, Delaware will become the sixteenth state since 1996 to allow for the physician-supervised use of marijuana.

Health regulators have up to one year following the law’s passage to draft regulations and issue licenses for state-authorized ‘compassion centers.’

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