Democratic Push for Legalization of Marijuana Continues in Delaware

Democratic lawmakers are making a renewed effort to legalize marijuana in Delaware and create an exciting new market for retail cannabis.

The legislation introduced last Friday would allow adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, paving the way toward establishing this emerging industry.

Bill to Legalize Cannabis Use Under Consideration

In June, Delaware’s House of Representatives was unable to overturn the veto from Governor John Carney on a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana.

After two failed attempts in 2020 and new progressive Democrats elected recently, Rep. Ed Osienski is now confident he has enough votes for legalization when reconsidering this important issue next year.

Optimism abounds heading into the new year as Rep. Osienski, joined by some fresh faces and enthusiasm, looks to get initiatives enacted that have stalled in past years.

Despite an increasingly progressive view on the legalization of recreational marijuana, Governor Carney and House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf have held firm in their opposition.

However, Representative Mike Osienski has revealed if lawmakers approve a bill to legalize cannabis use, then Schartzkopf would be willing to support further legislation establishing industry regulations for its distribution.

Following the House’s rejection of a broader legalization bill that would have included an industry tax last year, Osienski presented separate legislation for both measures.

Another Attempt to Introduce a Similar Bill

Despite multiple attempts to pass cannabis-related laws, Friday saw yet another attempt by introducing similar pieces of bills and requiring only a simple majority, as opposed to the three-fifths majority in order to create a 15% levy on retail sales upon successful passage.

It remains uncertain if this endeavor will make it past legal hurdles, with Governor Carney watching cautiously from his office desk.

New potential for the marijuana industry is sprouting up in Delaware, as State Rep. John Kowalko and fellow lawmakers are joining forces to push a bill that would expand access to legal cannabis production licenses.

This would happen while creating new job opportunities and generating tax revenue with restrictions on private consumption growth.

This legislation accounts especially for those looking to join ‘social equity’ or ‘microbusiness’ pools through an approved license from officials allowed by state law.

As debate intensifies in the lead-up to next week’s committee hearings on proposed marijuana legislation, supporters and opponents have presented strong arguments for their respective cases.

Proponents highlight that employers will still be able to test workers and terminate them if they are under the influence while at work, as well as stressing that public consumption would remain against state laws.

Those contesting legalizations fret over increased usage among teens, exposure of business owners to liability issues, more traffic incidents/accidents caused by stoned drivers, plus a lack of deterrence from illegal sales.

This article appeared in Right Wing Insider and has been published here with permission.