Delaware Governor Vetoes Cannabis Legalization Bill

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) has vetoed his state’s cannabis legalization bill stating he doesn’t believe in “promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana.”

Full story after the jump.

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) on Tuesday vetoed the bill to legalize cannabis use and possession by adults, saying in his veto message that he does “not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state.”

“Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unresolved. I respect the Legislative Branch’s role in this process, and I understand that some hold a different view on this issue. However, I have been clear about my position since before I took office, and I have articulated my concerns many times.” – Carney in the veto message

Carney earlier this month had indicated support for the bill saying he doesn’t think cannabis use and possession should be a criminal offense, but noted in his veto message that he had supported the state’s decriminalization law which reduced penalties for cannabis possession.

“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,” he said in his veto message. “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.”

The measure will be returned to the state’s General Assembly where it would need a three-fifths vote in each chamber in order to override Carney’s veto, the Delaware News Journal reports. The bill did exceed that threshold during the initial vote, the report says, but state lawmakers have not overridden a governor’s veto since 1977.

Last week, a bill to tax and regulate cannabis sales failed in the House by just two votes.

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