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Delaware Legalizes Recreational Marijuana without Governor’s Signature

Delaware Legalizes Recreational Marijuana without Governor’s Signature 

On Friday, Delaware Governor John Carney stated that he would permit two bills that legalize marijuana and establish a recreational industry to become law, despite his opposition to them. Although the governor believes that legalizing marijuana is “not a step forward,” he will not oppose it any longer, putting him at odds with his party. President Joe Biden’s home state has become the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana after years of advocacy and efforts by Democrats to reduce marijuana restrictions.

Governor Carney’s concerns about the effects of recreational marijuana on children’s health and roadway safety prevented him from signing the bills. Carney and Delaware House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf are among the few Democrats who oppose the legalization of marijuana. Starting Sunday, Delawareans will be permitted to use personal quantities of marijuana for private consumption, such as smoking joints and eating gummies. However, using marijuana in public will remain illegal, and employers can maintain a zero-tolerance policy. It will take at least 16 months for recreational marijuana to be available for purchase in Delaware.

In March, the Delaware General Assembly passed two marijuana-related bills: House Bill 1 legalizes marijuana for personal use in quantities that vary by cannabis form, with a maximum of 1 ounce of leaf marijuana, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or cannabis products containing 750 milligrams of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for people aged 21 and up. House Bill 2 creates and regulates the recreational marijuana industry in Delaware, with the state distributing 30 retail licenses through a competitive bidding process within 16 months of the law’s implementation. Lawmakers say that a marijuana-control enforcement fee of 15% on recreational sales will create grants and services that focus on restorative justice and reducing the state’s prison population.

Despite the issue’s popularity within his own party, Governor Carney vetoed a bill to legalize marijuana that the legislature sent to his desk last year, saying that it was not in “the best interest of the state.”

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