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 a single ounce) for these below the age of 21. Alternatively, juvenile offenders will face a fine-only civil penalty. These with previous criminal convictions for juvenile offenses will be eligible for the mandatory expungement of their records.

The new law took impact promptly upon signing.

Lawmakers in 2015 enacted separate legislation decriminalizing  marijuana possession penalties for these more than 21 years of age. Having said that, that law left in spot criminal sanctions for juvenile offenders.

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