Delaware Gov. Expresses Support for Cannabis Decriminalization Bill on His Desk

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) expressed support this week for the cannabis decriminalization bill recently passed by state lawmakers but didn’t say if he intends to sign the legislation.

Full story after the jump.

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) has expressed support for the broad cannabis decriminalization bill passed last week by the Legislature but stopped short of saying whether he would sign the reforms, WMDT reports. The measure is a pared down version of a full tax-and-regulate system, instead allowing possession of up to an ounce by adults 21-and-older.

“I don’t think it should be a criminal offense but this bill that passed just decriminalizes it, it doesn’t have a regulatory piece that goes with it. So, we’re looking at the same concerns that I’ve been articulating for some time with respect to public safety and its effect on our young people and we’ll continue to keep those in mind.” – Carney to WMDT

Carney has said he opposes broad cannabis legalization. In 2018, Vermont lawmakers passed a similar bill only to approve legislation to allow retail sales two years later.

Under current Delaware law, possession of an ounce or less of cannabis by anyone 21-and-older carries a $100 civil penalty. Under the bill being considered by the governor, possession of non-medical cannabis by anyone under 21 would still result in a civil penalty, while possession of more than one ounce and public consumption would remain misdemeanors. The bill also allows adults to “transfer,” but not sell for payment or other consideration, an ounce or less to another adult.

A bill to regulate cultivation and commercial sales passed the House Appropriations Committee last Tuesday but requires a three-fifths majority to pass each chamber.

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