On Sunday, recreational marijuana was legalized in Delaware after Democratic Governor John Carney signed two bills that legalized adult-use cannabis without his signature. House Bill 1 & House Bill 2 legalize marijuana possession for adults, and create a framework to regulate recreational cannabis sales and production. Carney, who had vetoed a similar bill last year, said late last week that the measures would become law. However, he stated that he has some reservations.
In a Friday afternoon statement, Carney said that the two bills would remove any state civil or criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession. They also create an industry highly regulated to sell recreational marijuana in Delaware. As I have said repeatedly, legalizing recreational marijuana does not represent a positive step. I am in favor of both Delaware’s law decriminalizing marijuana use and medical marijuana, because nobody should be sent to prison for possessing marijuana that is used only by themselves. “And today, they don’t.”
Both chambers of Delaware’s legislature passed the bills last month with a bipartisan majority that was veto proof. House Bill 1 removes penalties from possession of personal-use quantities of marijuana by adults over 21. House Bill 2 creates the regulatory framework for the sale, possession and cultivation of marijuana. It also includes provisions to allow small businesses to obtain licenses and to ensure people in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana for decades can access the new market.
HB 1 went into effect on Sunday. Delaware is now the 22nd State in the country to have legalized cannabis for adults. According to an announcement made by the Governor last week, HB 2 is set to take effect on Thursday.
After five years of meetings, discussions, negotiations, and conversations I am grateful that we are now at the point in which Delaware is joining a growing list of states who have legalized adult recreational marijuana to be used for personal purposes,” said Representative Ed Osienski , the bill’s sponsor, in a statement , after Carney declared he was letting the bills become laws. We know that over 60% of Delawareans are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational adult use. More than two thirds of the General Assembly also agreed.
Carney was the first Democratic governor to veto cannabis legalization legislation last year. Carney acknowledged that, while he was acquiescing in the inevitable and letting these bills become law next year, he still opposes the idea.
I want to make it clear that my opinions on this matter haven’t changed. Carney said, “I understand that there will be those who agree with my viewpoints who are disappointed by my decision to not veto the legislation.” “I made this decision, because I think we have spent too much time on this issue when Delawareans are faced with more pressing and serious concerns each day. “It’s time to get on with life.”
Governor Carney said that, in spite of his own opposition to cannabis legalization legislation, he would allow it to pass out of respect for legislative process. Osienki thanked Carney for his position this year, and promised to help ensure a smooth transition from illegal cannabis to legal marijuana in Delaware.
He added: “I appreciate the governor listening to thousands of residents that support the legalization effort, and then allowing the law to be passed.” I am dedicated to working closely with the Administration to make sure that the process of establishing the regulatory framework is as smooth as possible.
Brian Vicente said the new legislation is a milestone for the reform of cannabis policies in the United States. He added that he anticipates more progress by 2023.
This bill was passed by both the state senate and house with a veto-proof majority, showing that Delaware’s elected representatives support cannabis reform. The bill was passed by both the Delaware state house and senate with a majority that overruled any veto. This shows Delaware’s representatives are as pro-cannabis reforms as its citizens,” Vicente said in an email sent to High Times. “Delaware is sending two U.S. “Delaware will send two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Rep to Washington DC in order to represent the state’s interest, including protecting an adult-use marijuana regulated system. Delaware will soon join Minnesota in legalizing cannabis. Minnesota is currently debating the issue of legalizing marijuana within its legislature. “Each state legalizing cannabis brings our nation closer to the tipping point when the federal government is forced to align their policy on marijuana with the states.”