Delaware lawmakers have failed to override Gov. John Carney’s (D) veto of a bill to legalize possession of cannabis by adults, the Associated Press reports. The override failed with a 20-20 vote, with House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D) not voting.
The measure had passed the House last month 26-14 and the Senate 13-7 on a party-line vote. A separate bill to create a taxed and regulated cannabis industry in the state failed by two votes in the House following the passage of the adult-use and possession reforms.
Lawmakers needed a three-fifths majority to override the Democratic governor’s veto.
Rep. Ed Osienski (D), the prime sponsor of both bills, called on his colleagues to override Carney’s veto and not wait until the governor’s second term ends in 2025 to pass the reforms.
“…We need to fix this problem instead of just denying the freedom and the liberty of Delawareans to be able to purchase this product.” — Osienski, during his remarks on the House floor, via WHYY
Following the vote, Carney spokeswoman Emily David said the governor “thanks the House for today’s vote and respects the role of the General Assembly and all of its members in this process.
“He looks forward to working with them on the important issues that remain this session,” she told WHYY.
Zoë Patchell of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network told WHYY that the group is “extremely disappointed in House Democratic leadership, as well as the House Democrats who changed their vote from yes to no, as well as the Republicans who changed their vote as well.”
“Basically they could have ended cannabis prohibition by the end of this week, but they decided to not have the courage,” she said. “As a result of their actions today, there’ll be thousands of more people with a simple cannabis possession, including intrusive stops that could escalate.”
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