Delaware Senators have introduced two bills, HB1 and HB2, aimed at legalizing cannabis in the state. The bills aim to regulate and tax cannabis, providing for the creation of a new cannabis control commission to oversee the industry.
HB1 would legalize possession and use of cannabis by adults over the age of 21, allowing for the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis or five grams of concentrate. The bill would also allow for home cultivation of up to six plants for personal use, subject to certain restrictions.
HB2, on the other hand, focuses on the regulation and taxation of cannabis. The bill would create a new cannabis control commission, which would be responsible for licensing and regulating cannabis businesses in the state. The commission would also be responsible for establishing a tax structure for the industry, with a portion of the revenue generated from cannabis sales going towards education and substance abuse prevention programs.
These bills come as part of a broader push by states to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. While cannabis remains illegal under federal law, a growing number of states have legalized it for medical or recreational use in recent years. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 36 states have legalized it for medical use.
The push for legalization comes as many are questioning the dubious implications of marijuana prohibition. The history of marijuana prohibition dates back to the early 20th century, when anti-immigrant sentiments and racism played a significant role in its criminalization. The war on drugs, initiated in the 1970s, further perpetuated the criminalization of drug use, leading to disproportionate enforcement in minority communities and contributing to the mass incarceration of people of color.
Today, the majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, with many recognizing the potential benefits of legalization, such as increased tax revenue, job creation, and decreased rates of incarceration for non-violent drug offenses. Additionally, many argue that the legalization of cannabis would provide an alternative to the opioid epidemic that has plagued the country in recent years.
Critics of legalization, however, argue that it could lead to increased use among minors and have negative effects on public health and safety. They also point to the lack of research on the long-term effects of cannabis use.
Despite these criticisms, the legalization of cannabis continues to gain support at both the state and federal level. With the introduction of HB1 and HB2, Delaware could join the growing number of states that have legalized cannabis, providing a significant shift in the state’s drug policy and potentially contributing to the broader push for decriminalization at the federal level.