On Tuesday, May 18th, Senator Margaret Rose Henry of Wilmington joined Noah Mamber, a representative from a Washington D.C. based lobbyist group called the Marijuana Policy Project, at Widener Law’s Delaware campus to discuss a bill she sponsored to amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code to create the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act.
Senate Bill #94, currently pending before the 145th General Assembly of Delaware, is based on the Marijuana Policy Project’s model medical marijuana legislation. Leslie Verucci, Chair of the Advanced Practice Council of the Delaware Nurses Association, introduced Senator Henry and Mr. Mamber. She also thanked Widener Law Associate Professor Thaddeus M. Pope
for his help in arranging the event.
After Senator Henry spoke briefly about the Senate Bill she sponsored, Mr. Mamber spoke about the different types and effects of marijuana and the different ways in which it can be used, which include smoking, vaporizing, baking it into edibles, creating a tincture, topical preparations, or via a pill. Marinol, the pill form of marijuana consists only of the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, portion of the cannabis plant. Marinol is the only form of marijuana currently recognized for medicinal uses by the federal government. In 1999, Marinol was moved from a Schedule II to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating that it is not considered to carry the same risk for abuse as drugs in Schedule II.
The proposed Delaware bill has a 6 ounces possession limit for those licensed to use medical marijuana, and those with prescriptions would be permitted to obtain more than 3 ounces every 14 days. The proposed law would not permit use by anyone less than 21 years of age, and insurance companies would not be mandated to cover the costs associated with medical marijuana use. Prohibitions against driving under the influence of or public use of marijuana would remain, and while the bill would not require employers to allow impaired patients at work or to permit possession of marijuana in the work place.
The bill remains pending before the legislature with further opposition likely.