Delaware’s Democratic Governor Vetoes Bipartisan Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights

Marijuana Moment reports

Delaware’s Democratic governor has vetoed a bill meant to clarify that medical marijuana patients are not prohibited from buying, possessing or transferring firearms under state law.

Gov. John Carney (D), one of the only Democratic governors who remains vocally opposed to adult-use cannabis legalization, vetoed the legislation, HB 276, on Thursday. The bill from Rep. Andria Bennett (D) cleared the legislature with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support in June.

Carney, who also vetoed a marijuana legalization measure in May, said in a veto statement that he felt that the medical cannabis gun rights reform was redundant because he says there’s nothing in state statute that renders a patient to be a “person prohibited” from accessing firearms.

“HB 276, while intended to provide clarity, does not add new meaningful protections or rights for Delawareans,” he wrote. “Additionally, if signed into law, HB 276 risks creating confusion about the rights of medical marijuana patients—under federal law—to purchase firearms here in Delaware.”

“Under current federal law, the use of marijuana, even for medical purposes, remains illegal. Federal law and background check processes currently restrict the ability of a user of marijuana, even for medical purposes, from purchasing a firearm. HB 276 would not ease the existing tension between state public health policy and federal drug enforcement policy, nor would it eliminate the complexities and risks that confront Delawareans who are or may become gun owners and medical marijuana users.”

“At best, HB 276 maintains the status quo,” the statement concludes. “At worst, it risks misleading those who may be impacted and increasing public confusion.”

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Delaware’s Democratic Governor Vetoes Bipartisan Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights

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