Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law today legislation that allows those with terminal illnesses - including those under 18 with terminal illness-associated pain, anxiety or depression - to become legal medical cannabis patients.
Under Delaware law, medical cannabis has been legal for around five years. Patients who receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state are entitled to possess, use and purchase medical cannabis, given they have a qualifying condition. The list of qualifying conditions includes ailments such as multiple sclerosis and seizures, though it doesn't specifically include terminal illnesses. In three months, when the law takes effect, that will change.
The measure was named after Bob Jester, who was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer on his 62nd birthday.
"My heart overflows today," says Crystal Jester, Bob's wife. Bob was never able to use medical cannabis to help treat his symptoms, as he passed away on January 7th.
"Ultimately this is the best way I could think of to honor his memory," Bob's son Rich said at a press conference held today at Helen Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute.
The signing of the measure comes roughly eight months after the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis become no longer a crime (House Bill 39).