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Recreational Marijuana Bill Halted Once Again in Delaware

According to Insurance Journal, Delaware Governor John Carney vetoed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana late last month, much to the dismay of Delaware residents and fellow politicians.

Here are Carney’s concerns stated when returning the bill to the state House:

“I recognize the positive effect marijuana can have for people with certain health conditions, and for that reason, I continue to support the medical marijuana industry in Delaware. I supported decriminalization of marijuana because I agree that individuals should not be imprisoned solely for the possession and private use of a small amount of marijuana — and today, thanks to Delaware’s decriminalization law, they are not.

That said, I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people. Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unresolved.”

Carney’s veto soon followed failed legislation to establish a state-run marijuana industry in Delaware. Both bills, one to legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults for recreational use, and the other to establish a state-run marijuana industry, have been shot down.

Is a veto override possible? Yes, as it appears fellow politicians and their constituents are unhappy about the decision according to Insurance Journal:

  • “Rep. Ed Osienski, a Newark Democrat and chief sponsor of both bills, said in a statement that he was ‘deeply disappointed’ by Carney’s decision and would review his options.”

  • “Senate Democrats echoed Osienski’s assertion that Carney had chosen to ‘ignore the will’ of Delawareans.”

  • “‘The members of the Delaware General Assembly have been fighting for years to end the failed war on marijuana and we will not be stopped by this latest setback,’ read a statement from chief Senate sponsor Trey Paradee and Senate President Dave Sokola.”

  • “Betsy Maron, chairwoman of the Delaware Democratic Party, said she was confident that lawmakers could trump Carney’s veto and make legalization a reality.

‘Last year, we went as far as to include it in our party platform, which passed unanimously at the 2021 state convention,’ Maron said in a statement. ‘Delaware’s voters have further solidified their voice on the matter by electing Democratic candidates to the legislature that support legalization. We are confident those legislators will override the veto knowing they have the support of Delaware’s Democrats.’”

We are monitoring this closely, and highly interested in how claims will be affected in our licensed state of Delaware should marijuana legalization become a reality.

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