Delaware appears ready to fast-track cannabis legislation

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A bill to legalize marijuana is swiftly making it through the chambers

Delaware has been one of those states that seem to have started the year focused on the issue of marijuana legalization. Yesterday, state lawmakers gave the go-ahead to legislation that pursues that goal. The news comes just a day after a separate panel approved a companion measure establishing basic regulations for an adult-use market. Reform continues to move forward, and the process is looking pretty good so far.

Having been introduced earlier this year, the simple legalization bill received a positive 11-4 vote before the House Health and Human Development Committee. A day later, the Revenue and Finance Committee had the same response with respect to the companion regulatory proposal. So far, no obstacles have been evidenced, and the plans are proceeding as expected by Ed Osienski, the sponsoring representative of both bills.

During the last session, Osienski took a mock bifurcated approach to reform and saw the legislature pass the basic legalization proposal while narrowly defeating the regulatory measure. The earlier measure was vetoed by Governor John Carney, and the House did not have to hold a vote to override it.

During yesterday’s hearing, Osienski explained, “This bill ends over 50 years of prohibition and criminalization in Delaware and allows adults over the age of 21 to legally possess, consume and freely share under one ounce of marijuana for personal use.” If the successful path it is on so far remains intact, the lawmaker says there is a good chance the measure will be put to a vote in the House of Representatives in March.

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