This Act simplifies Delaware’s drug code with a goal of providing more fairness in its application. This Act removes geographic-based enhancements that disproportionately impact those living in urban areas as opposed to suburban and rural areas. This Act reduces the number of weight tiers from 5 to 3 with adjustments to accompanying sentences while retaining higher felony levels for weights that indicate drug dealing. This Act reflects the reality that the road to recovery from a drug addiction is difficult by removing automatic sentence enhancements based on prior drug offenses, and instead allowing discretion during sentencing to determine when a repeat offender requires substantive additional penalty. Specifically, Sections 1 through 14 of this Act do the following:

(1) Eliminate most aggravating factors, some of which may cause Delaware’s controlled substance laws to be applied unfairly, while maintaining an aggravating factor for those who violate Delaware’s drug dealing laws within 300 feet of and on school property.

(2) Eliminate enhancements based on the commission of prior drug offenses.

(3) Simplify Delaware’s controlled substance laws by reducing the number of weight tiers that are used to categorize the severity of controlled substance offenses.

(4) Provide statutory guidance for the weighing and sampling procedures used at criminal trials for controlled substances. Sections 15 through 20 of this Act make conforming amendments to the Delaware Code based on changes made by Sections 1 through 14 of this Act. This Act takes effect 90 days after its enactment into law. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.

Sponsors

Sen. Lockman (Prime), Sen. McBride, Rep. Lynn, Rep. Longhurst, Rep. Dorsey Walker. See bill number link for full list of co-sponsors.

Status

Passed both chambers

Session

150th General Assembly

Bill number

Position

Support

Stay informed

ACLU of Delaware is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National