Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed legislation amending criminal penalties for juveniles who violate the state’s marijuana possession laws.
Senate Bill 45 eliminates criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession offenses (up to one ounce) for those under the age of 21. Instead, juvenile offenders will face a fine-only civil penalty. Those with past criminal convictions for juvenile offenses will be eligible for the mandatory expungement of their records.
The new law took effect upon signing.
Lawmakers in 2015 enacted separate legislation decriminalizing marijuana possession penalties for those over 21 years of age. However, that law left in place criminal sanctions for juvenile offenders.