Delaware[Reefer Madness] Governor Will Allow Marijuana Legalization And Sales Bills To Become Law


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The governor of Delaware says that he will allow a pair of bills to legalize marijuana possession and establish a regulated adult-use market become law without his signature.

Carney, who previously declined to comment on his intentions for the marijuana measures from Rep. Ed Osienski (D), said that while his “views on this issue have not changed” and he still feels that legalization is “not a step forward,” he would not stand in the way of the reform any longer.

“I understand there are those who share my views who will be disappointed in my decision not to veto this legislation,” he said in a statement. “I came to this decision because I believe we’ve spent far too much time focused on this issue, when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day. It’s time to move on.”

After the bills passed in the legislature, a spokesperson for the governor told Marijuana Moment that Carney “continues to have strong concerns about the unintended consequences of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in our state, especially about the impacts on our young people and highway safety.”

“I recognize that many legislators disagree—and I respect the legislative process,” he said. “I also do not believe prolonging debate on this issue best serves Delawareans.”

He similarly talked about believing that it was “time to move on” from the conversation over marijuana and focus on other priorities during a town hall event on Tuesday at which several voters pressed him on the issue. In his latest statement on Friday, he echoed that point and reiterated his outstanding concerns, explaining why he’d let the bills take effect but symbolically without his signature.

“I remain concerned about the consequences of a recreational marijuana industry in our state,” the governor said. “I’m concerned especially about the potential effects on Delaware’s children, on the safety of our roadways, and on our poorest neighborhoods, where I believe a legal marijuana industry will have a disproportionately negative impact. Those concerns are why I could not put my signature to either House Bill 1 or House Bill 2.”

“As we implement House Bill 1 and House Bill 2, we will do everything in our power to protect children from accessing marijuana and marijuana-related products; prevent Delawareans and Delaware visitors from driving under the influence of marijuana; and closely evaluate the placement of marijuana dispensaries and other businesses, to ensure they do not become a blight on already disadvantaged communities. My goal will be to ensure that Delaware has a robust regulatory system that protects the interests of the most vulnerable Delawareans, to avoid the many challenges we’ve seen in other states, and to get back to focusing on issues that are most important for Delaware families.”

Delaware Governor Will Allow Marijuana Legalization And Sales Bills To Become Law - Marijuana Moment