Delaware Governor Moves on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

More than two years after signing a medical marijuana bill into law, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) signaled Thursday that he is ready to move forward with drafting regulations for dispensaries, or "compassion centers" in Delaware-speak. Markell halted the dispensary portion of the law after in February 2012 after receiving a letter from US Attorney Charles Oberly warning that the state risked federal action if it moved to regulate dispensaries.

But in a letter to lawmakers Thursday, Markell said he will issue a request for a proposal to open a single dispensary next year. The 2011 law called for dispensaries in each county of the state's three counties. Markell acted after other states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, have issued licenses for dispensaries without the federal government coming down on them.

"The sensible and humane aim of state policy in Delaware remains to ensure that medical marijuana is accessible via a safe, well-regulated channel of distribution to patients with demonstrated medical need," the Wilmington News Journal quoted Markell as saying in the letter. The letter was addressed to Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley, both Wilmington Democrats who had supported the bill and urged Markell to move forward.

Currently, Delaware medical marijuana patients are in limbo. While they can register as patients with the state, they have no legal place to buy their medicine, and the state law does not permit them to grow their own.

In the letter, Markell said he hoped to address Justice Department concerns by including "tight security requirements," including round-the-clock video monitoring and limiting the dispensary to growing 150 plants and keeping an inventory of no more than 1,500 ounces of usable marijuana.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which had helped shepherd the law's passage, said in a message to supporters Thursday that Markell's move was "very welcome news that is a long time coming."

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

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

My name is William Craft and I'm a Delaware citizen. I also have epilepsy with grand mal seizure's. the pills over the past 9 years had brought me to addiction. To narrcotics and other kinds of man made unsuccessful drugs. With a seizure, injury comes with the package! I have had 2 unsuccessful shoulder surgeries in which brought on my addiction to pain meds.. I'm proud to say now I am over 5 months clean of pain medicine(narcotics) and have had only 1 seizures since I quit all pills including my prescribed epilepsy medicine 5 months ago and have only smoked cannabis. Also I was dianosed with ptsd after my step brother murdered my mother when I was 14. Instead of taking all these dangerous man made drugs that people overdose on I'd rather smoke or eat a plant that there is no known overdose in the world! I believe Delaware will prosper in a great way. Besides I don't want my money in the hands of drug dealers who sell hard drugs also in which is devestating our youth!!!

ok

 Forgive me for asking but how many people die a year related too drunk driving in Delaware? Have there been any instances where someone was killed while driving under the influence of marijuana? You want to make an impact...ban booze and cigarettes. These are medically addictive substances. Oh yes, we tried banning booze during the 1930's. It didn't quite work.  Drugs have been around forever. You cannot legalize morality. That is the responsibility of religion and parents. Tax marijuana, educated children against drugs, open treatment centers and finally show common sense. Hate the sin...not the sinner.

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