Delaware Governor John Carney is facing mounting pressure to act on a bill that would legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. Passed by the legislature on June 30, the bill has been sitting on Carney’s desk since then, and he has until September 19 to decide whether to sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
If the bill becomes law, Delaware would join a growing number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Under the proposed law, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants for personal use. The bill would also establish a regulatory framework for the production, sale, and taxation of cannabis, with a portion of the revenue earmarked for social equity programs.
Supporters of the bill are hopeful that Carney will sign it into law, citing the potential for significant tax revenue and job creation. They also point out that cannabis criminalization disproportionately affects communities of color, and that legalization could help to address some of the harms caused by the failed War on Drugs.
On the other hand, opponents of the bill claim that legalization would lead to increased drug use and related social problems, such as impaired driving and addiction. However, many experts argue that these concerns are overblown, pointing to the experience of other states that have legalized marijuana.
If the bill does become law, it will be interesting to see how Delaware’s legal cannabis market develops, particularly with respect to social equity programs. Many advocates argue that these programs are crucial for ensuring that communities most affected by the War on Drugs are able to benefit from legalization, and that they should be a key priority for any state looking to legalize cannabis.
Overall, the fate of the bill now rests in Governor Carney’s hands, and advocates are hopeful that he will make the right decision and sign it into law before the deadline. Whatever happens, however, it’s clear that the movement to legalize cannabis continues to gain momentum across the US, and that the issue is likely to remain a hot topic of debate for years to come.