first measures, House Bill 1A bill to legalize cannabis for adults passed the Senate by a vote of 16 to 4. House Bill 2a law establishing a framework for regulated recreational marijuana sales was approved by a 15-to-5 vote. becomes.
The bill is now going to the desk of Delaware Governor John Carney. He vetoed a bill to legalize adult-use marijuana last year, making him the only Democratic governor to make such a move. The state House then failed to override the veto, leaving lawmakers to try again during the current legislative session. But this year, both houses of the Delaware legislature passed the bill with a veto majority, almost guaranteeing final passage of the bill with or without Carney’s signature.
Cannabis Policy Reform March
Neighboring states of New Jersey and Maryland have also passed legislation to legalize adult use of cannabis, making Delaware one of the few remaining resistances to end marijuana bans in the Northeast. Brian Vicente, founding partner of cannabis and psychedelic law firm Vicente LLP, welcomed new developments in the cannabis policy reform movement in the United States after the Senate voted to legalize the bill on Tuesday. bottom.
“The imminent passage of legalization in Delaware is a historic and important step in establishing the Atlantic Coast as the basis for legal adult cannabis regulation,” Vicente said in an email. . high times“For many years, legalization was considered a West Coast phenomenon, but now the East Coast is following suit. Marijuana is still a long way from Florida to Maine legal, but Delaware has marijuana. It further cements the East Coast as a region that has turned its back on the ban on
But both bills passed Tuesday include restorative justice provisions to expunge previous convictions for cannabis-related crimes, such as those included in many states’ marijuana legalization plans in recent years. not Natalie Papillion, chief operating officer of The Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit dedicated to the release of all cannabis prisoners, said Delaware’s marijuana legalization plan lacks expungement measures.
“Legalization alone cannot heal the wounds of prohibition. Real justice demands legislation that provides record clearance and resentencing for those affected. high times“It is disappointing that Delaware has failed to include retroactive remedies in this bill, thereby ignoring an opportunity to begin repairing these harms.”
Legalization has broad public support in Delaware
Voting in Delaware Nearly three-quarters of adults in the state indicated they supported legalizing marijuana, but only 18% said cannabis should remain illegal. Nearly nine of his 10 Democrat respondents said they would approve of legalizing cannabis, while 73% of independent voters said they supported ending marijuana bans in the state. Less than half of Republicans (47%) said cannabis must remain illegal, while 42% of Republican respondents support legalization.
“With this latest vote, the battle to legalize cannabis in Delaware is nearing an end. States are already making moves to legalize cannabis,” said Olivia Naugl, senior policy analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement from the Cannabis Reform Group. “It is encouraging to see the legislature introduce these bills with a veto majority. Any further delay in cannabis legalization would be detrimental to the nation.”
Legalizing cannabis in Delaware could give additional support to efforts to legalize cannabis at the federal level, Vicente said, adding that state legislators are increasingly in favor of reform. pointed out.
“Importantly, after this law is passed, Delaware will send two U.S. Senators and one Representative to Washington, D.C., with the express power to pass federal reform. ‘ he said. “Delaware is an example of a relatively new trend in cannabis reform, with its Adult Use Act passed by Congress rather than by popular vote.”
The bill is now sent to the governor’s desk for his consideration. Before Tuesday’s Senate vote, Kearny spokeswoman Emily Hirschman said in a statement that the governor “has no intention of legalizing recreational marijuana use in our state.” We continue to be very concerned about the consequences, particularly the impact on young people and highway safety.”
“He knows that others honestly disagree on this issue.” she added“But there’s nothing new to share today about how the Governor-General would act if HB 1 and HB 2 reached his desk.”