Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 17 Friday officially making Delaware the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The state's medical marijuana program will be amongst the strictest in the nation, severely limiting not only patient's access to medical cannabis, but also the diseases for which it can be used.
"We made clear that this would need to be very limited in scope and actively targeted to only Delawareans with profound and chronic illness like cancer and ALS. It is. This bill needed to be about giving targeted help to the most sick in a way that made medical sense, and it is," Markell said in a written statement.
Cannabis will be approved in the state for the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. People with other chronic and debilitating diseases may qualify for the program if surgery and/or other medications have been ineffective or caused negative side effects such as nausea, muscle cramps or seizures.
Patients will have to have a bona fide doctor/patient relationship with the recommending physician and will have to carry a state identification card with them whenever they possess marijuana.
The state's one-year pilot program will set up three licensed, non-profit dispensaries to sell marijuana to qualified patients.. Patients will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis and will only be allowed to possess 6 ounces at a time.
You can hear how a few delawarians feel about the new law on the Angel Clark radio show here: