The Delaware House on Tuesday approved a bill to eliminate penalties for the use or possession of cannabis by adults, WHYY reports. A similar measure was approved by both legislative chambers last year but was vetoed by Gov. John Carney (D) and the House failed to override him.
In that veto message, Carney said he had “been clear about” his position on cannabis legalization prior to taking office and has “articulated” his “concerns many times.” Before the start of this year’s session, Carney reiterated his opposition to the reforms to lawmakers.
Rep. Ed Osienski (D), the bill’s prime sponsor, said that new members in the House may provide the votes to overcome Carney’s veto this session if the bill passes both chambers. The bill passed the House 28-13 – three more votes than needed to override a governor’s veto.
“Sixty percent of Delawareans believe that the recreational use of marijuana should be legal. It is time for us to listen to our constituents and make Delaware the 22nd state to legalize adult use, recreational marijuana.” — Osienski on the House floor via WHYY
On Thursday, House lawmakers are expected to debate companion legislation that would create a regulatory structure for adult-use sales, allow up to 30 retailers, and impose a 15% tax on sales.
The use and possession bill moves next to the Senate.