Delaware House approves legalization bill
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Delaware House approves legalization bill

According to the newspaper, the only Democrat to vote against the bill was Pete Schwartzkopf, the party’s leader in the chamber. The lone Democrat to vote against, according to the newspaper, was the party’s leader in the chamber, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf.Schwartzkopf is not the only senior Delaware Democrat to break from his party in opposing cannabis legalization–a policy that is supported by a large majority of Democratic voters nationwide, and that has become a virtual mainstream position among Democrats in Washington and state Houses across the country.Delaware’s Democratic governor, John Carney, has been firm in his opposition to marijuana legalization. After a similar bill passed in Delaware’s general assembly last year, Carney vetoed it. However, lawmakers couldn’t generate enough votes to override his veto. “I recognize the positive effects marijuana can have on people with certain medical conditions and for that reason, continue to support the Delaware medical marijuana industry,” he said. “I supported decriminalization because I believe that individuals shouldn’t be imprisoned for possessing and using a small amount marijuana. However, Delaware’s decriminalization law today makes it possible to do so. “Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unresolved.”Undeterred, Democrats, who continue to hold majorities in the general assembly, renewed their legalization drive in January.”My hope is that with continued open dialogue with the governor’s office, that will help alleviate a veto,” State House Rep. Ed Osienski, a Democrat who is sponsoring the new bill, said earlier this year. “I have more support by my members… for a veto-override, but it’s not happening,” a spokesperson for Governor Ed Osienski, a Democrat, stated earlier this year. But, Democrats continue to push for legalization. Delaware News Journal reports that “the bill now moves to the Senate, where it will likely to pass. The looming question is whether Democrats have the political support to override another Carney veto.” The newspaper also has details about the latest legalization proposals in general assembly. House Bill 1 would eliminate all penalties for possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana for people aged 21 and older. This legislation needed a simple majority of 21 voters. At the moment, marijuana is not criminalized in Delaware. The second bill, HB2, would establish a framework for regulating the sale, growth, and possession of marijuana. The lawmakers state that marijuana would be taxed and regulated in the same manner as alcohol. Because it concerns revenue and taxation, this legislation requires a third-fifths vote. This legislation is expected to be voted upon soon.


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