Delaware Governor Carney Vetoes Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
In vetoing the measure, Carney reiterated his previously expressed concerns about legalizing recreational pot — concerns that did not dissuade fellow Democrats from pushing the legislation through the General Assembly. “I recognize the positive effect marijuana can have for people with certain health conditions, and for that reason, I continue to support the medical marijuana industry in Delaware,” Carney said in returning the bill to the state House. “That said, I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people. Carney’s veto comes just days after legislation to establish a state-run marijuana industry in Delaware failed to clear the state House for a second time. Last week’s vote came two months after a similar measure failed in the House on a 23-14 vote, and just hours after Carney’s office received the companion legalization bill. It’s unclear whether Democratic lawmakers will try to override Carney’s veto, which would be a rare occurrence.
Senate Democrats echoed Osienski’s assertion that Carney had chosen to “ignore the will” of Delawareans. “The members of the Delaware General Assembly have been fighting for years to end the failed war on marijuana and we will not be stopped by this latest setback,” read a statement from chief Senate sponsor Trey Paradee and Senate president Dave Sokola. Betsy Maron, chairwoman of the Delaware Democratic Party, said she was confident that lawmakers could trump Carney’s veto and make legalization a reality. “Last year, we went as far as to include it in our party platform, which passed unanimously at the 2021 state convention,” Maron said in a statement. Osienski carved the legalization and industry-creation proposals into two separate bills in late March after the House rejected broader legislation that sought to do both. The legalization bill cleared the Democrat-controlled Senate with no Republican support.
Supporters of a state-run marijuana industry argue that it would create jobs, boost state coffers and shrink the illegal black market. Opponents contend that legalization and a state-licensed cultivation and sales would lead to increased marijuana use among teens and young adults, expose business owners to liability, and result in more traffic deaths and injuries. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that legalization had done little to discourage black market sales in California, and that some licensees there are simultaneously participating in the black market in order to make a profit. Currently, recreational marijuana use is permitted in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
Read full article at Insurance Journal