Delaware House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

The Delaware House last Thursday passed a bill that would allow chronically ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation and to obtain it at one of three state-licensed not-for-profit dispensaries. Senate Bill 17, sponsored by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington), passed on a vote of 27-14.

Medical marijuana edges ever closer at the state house in Dover. (Image via Wikimedia.org)
The state Senate has already passed the bill, but must now vote to approve changes made in the House version of the bill. Those changes require that medical marijuana be distributed in tamper-proof containers (so caregivers can't pilfer it) and prohibit smoking it in buses and vehicles.

Henry, who is also Senate Majority Whip, told Delaware Online the Senate could have its final vote as early as this week and that the House changes would not derail the bill. "They're fine," she said of the changes. "It's not a problem."

The bill would allow people with cancer, MS, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, and other debilitating conditions to get a doctor's recommendation for marijuana to treat their illnesses or the pain or nausea associated with them. Patients would be issued a state ID card. Patients would not be able to grow their own, but would have to go the dispensaries, one for each of the state's three counties.

"This is a significant victory for seriously ill patients in Delaware," said the Marijuana Policy Project, which crafted the bill and has helped shepherd it through the legislative process.

If the bill attains final passage in the Senate next week and is signed by Gov. Jack Markell, the Department of Health and Social Services would have a year to draft regulations for licensing the dispensaries. That means it could be mid-2012 before medical marijuana actually comes to Delaware.

Dover, DE
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Unfair!

While it is good that some patients with the "right" diseases reactionaries can feel sympathetic towards those like myself who have the "wrong" disease, namely hypertension apparently deserve no compassion. This is cruel beyond belief. It is also morally wrong to deny patients the right to grow. Also, what are we going to do about the dispensaries. Obama has threatened states that want to set up dispensaries. If Obama stops dispensaries from being opened how will we get medicine to the few the tyrants are willing to allow their medicine? We will have medical marijuana in name only if patients cannot get their medicine. Hopefully Obama will relent but if he does not we will have only a meaningless paper law that accomplishes nothing. I am happy for the few that can get their medicine but it is no excuse to CUT OUT patients like me. We are not frauds. We are real patients! Hypertension is not just a fraud but is a serious cronic life threatening illness.

I agree with you that the

I agree with you that the bill is too restrictive.  The tamper-proof packaging is sounding like a Big Pharam thing.  Three dispensaries for profit or non-profit?  Three will never be able to keep up especially if they are run by the state unless the feds back down.  How about it Joe?. 

Delaware is the second smallest state in area, but there is no shortage of cannabis in the state.  I also believe that patients should have the right to grow their own. At least 12 plants mature and an equal number of clones or seedlings when the mature plants are in the flowering stage so the next crop is ready to go when the mature ones are harvested. Patients growing their own saves money when you are disabled and medical cannabis isn't covered by insurance.  You can use a dispensary until your first harvest comes in, but then you're good to go. 

Six ounces every two weeks isn't too restrictive, that a quarter pound a month.  Over all, not bad but needs some fixing.

This is fantastic. Another

This is fantastic. Another state stepping up and doing the right thing in spite of federal threats.

Granted there are weak points but hopefully those can be corrected quickly.
 

federal rescheduling

Delaware along with the other states that have medical marijuana programs need to tell the DEA that it is time to reschedule at the federal level. To remain in federal schedule I a substance can have no medical use in the United States. Clearly it does as fifteen states and the District of Columbia says it does. Once it is rescheduled at the federal level it will become available for much needed research. Cannabis, aka marijuana is the number one healing herb on the planet and grows like a weed. Free the herb , free the people. .

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