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Delaware Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Any amount misdemeanor 6 mos $ 1,150
Within 1,000 ft of a school felony 15 years $ 250,000
Within 300 feet of park, recreation area, church, synagogue or other place of worship felony 15 years $ 250,000

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture

Any amount felony 5 years $ 10,000
5 - 100 lbs felony 2* - 25 years $ 25,000
100 - 500 lbs felony 4* - 25 years $ 50,000
Over 500 lbs felony 8* - 25 years $ 100,000
To a person under the age of 14 - 21 felony 5 years $ 10,000
Using a minor to distribute drugs felony 10 years $ 250,000
Within 300 feet of park, recreation area, church, synagogue or other place of worship felony 15 years $ 250,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Trafficking

5 - 100 lbs felony 2* - 25 years $ 25,000
100 - 500 lbs felony 4* - 25 years $ 50,000
500 lbs or more felony 8* - 25 years $ 100,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Use or possesses with the intent to use misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,300
Deliver or possesses with the intent to deliver felony 2 years $ 0
Deliver to a minor who is under 18 years felony 3 years $ 0

Forfeiture

All substances, raw materials, products, equipment, property, vehicles, research products, paraphernalia, money and other assets can be seized.

Miscellaneous

First time offenders may be placed on probation instead of sent to prison or fined.

Penalty Details

Possession for Personal Use

Possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine not exceeding $1,150.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4754
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4714
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4206

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture

Manufacturing or selling any amount of marijuana is a Class E felony punishable with up to 5 years prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §4752

Manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute between 5 and 100 lbs. of marijuana is a Class B felony punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute between 100 and 500 lbs. of marijuana is a felony punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute over 500 lbs. of marijuana is a felony punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $100,000.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4752

Distribution to Minors

Distributing marijuana to a person under the age of 21 is a Class E felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Distributing marijuana to a person under the age of 16 is a Class E felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. 6 months of this sentence is mandatory.

Distributing marijuana to a person under the age of 14 is a Class E felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. 1 year of this sentence is mandatory.

Using a minor to distribute drugs is a felony and is punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4761

Purchase of Marijuana from a Minor

Purchasing marijuana from a person who is either 16 or 17 is a Class E felony, punishable with imprisonment of up to 5 years in prison.

Purchasing marijuana from a person who is either 15 or 14 is a Class E felony, punishable with imprisonment of up to 5 years in prison, 6 months of which is a mandatory minimum sentence. Purchasing marijuana from a person who is younger than 14 is a Class E felony, punishable with imprisonment of up to 5 years in prison, 1 year of which is a mandatory minimum sentence.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4761A

Trafficking

Any person who, on any single occasion, knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers or brings into this State, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of 5 pounds of marijuana is guilty of a class B felony. If the quantity of marijuana involved:

  1. Is in excess of 5 pounds, but less than 100 pounds, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 2 years and shall be fined up to $25,000.
  2. Is 100 pounds or more, but less than 500 pounds, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years and shall be fined up to $50,000.
  3. Is 500 pounds or more, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years and shall be fined up to $100,000.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4753A

Hash & Concentrates

The Delaware statute uses the general term "Marijuana" to refer to plant Cannabis and "every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin." Nowhere does the statute differentiate penalties for Marijuana and Hashish or Concentrates. Both substances are classified under Schedule 1 of the Delaware Controlled Substances schedule.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16 § 4701(26)
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16 Del.C. § 4714(d)(19)

Paraphernalia

Any person who uses or possesses with the intent to use drug paraphernalia is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable with confinement for up to 1 year and a fine of no more than $2,300.

Any person who delivers drug paraphernalia or possesses drug paraphernalia with the intent to deliver, is guilty of a Class G felony, punishable by up to 2 years incarceration.

Any person who delivers drug paraphernalia to another person who is under 18 yeas old is guilty of a Class E felony, punishable by up to 3 years incarceration.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §§ 4771-4774

Forfeitures

Delaware can seize:

  1. All controlled substances which have been manufactured, distributed, possessed, dispensed or acquired;
  2. All raw materials, products and equipment of any kind which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, delivering, importing or exporting any controlled substance;
  3. Any property which is used, or intended for use, as a container for property described in paragraph (1), (2) or (6);
  4. Any conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles, or vessels which are used, or are intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, trafficking in or possession with intent to deliver marijuana;
  5. All books, records, and research products and materials including formulas, microfilm, tapes and data which are used or intended for use in violation of this chapter;
  6. All drug paraphernalia;
  7. All moneys, negotiable instruments, securities or any other thing of value furnished, or intended to be furnished, in exchange for a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia; all profits or proceeds traceable to securities, assets or interest used, or intended to be used, to facilitate any drug crime.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §4784

Miscellaneous

First time offenders may be placed on probation instead of sent to prison or fined. Probation includes state sponsored dug treatment, drug testing, suspension of offender's driver's licence, and community service. Successful completion of the program results in the charges against the individual being dropped and a conviction not appearing on the offender's record. If the offender does commit another drug crime, however, this adjudication does count as a conviction.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §4767

Any person who moves to the State of Delaware for the purposes of involving themselves in marijuana distribution shall be sentenced to an extra year in prison.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4763

Any person who possesses marijuana within 1,000 ft. of a school is guilty of a felony and will be imprisoned for not more than 15 years and fined not more than $250,000. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that the prohibited conduct took place entirely within a private residence, that no person under the age of 18 was present in such private residence at any time during the commission of the offense and that the prohibited conduct did not involve distribution, delivery or possession of any controlled substance for profit.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4767

Distribution, delivery or possession of marijuana in or within 300 feet of park, recreation area, church, synagogue or other place of worship is a felony and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine of not more than $250,000. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that the prohibited conduct took place entirely within a private residence, that no person under the age of 18 was present in such private residence at any time during the commission of the offense and that the prohibited conduct did not involve distribution, delivery or possession of any controlled substance for profit.

See:

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4768
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.







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