Here we go again. Delaware should legalize pot. Period. See so many articles about it on this website.
Opponents say things like “too little is known” and other nonsense to try to make sense of their “Reefer Madness mentality”! READ my Letter to the Editor, below!
Excerpts from the Article:
Delaware lawmakers have fired up the fight to legalize pot. It’s good news for pro-ganja Delawareans, many of whom hope that recreational use of the plant could turn into a tax cash cow.
There are signs that the bill could get more traction this year than last year. The General Assembly had a turnover of about one-third — with many younger than the people they replaced — and Democrats now have their largest majority in over a decade. Lawmakers have also tweaked the bill since last year in an attempt to make it more palatable.
Delaware’s latest attempt before this one failed by four votes in the House. Two of the leaders of last year’s effort, then-Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington, and then-Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington, have since retired.
“If we had a referendum process in this state, it probably would have passed three or four years ago,” Paradee said. “People are becoming more accepting of it, and understand that, in a lot of ways, alcohol and cigarettes are far more dangerous.”
You’d be able to buy it in specialized stores — up to an ounce at a time — as long as you’re at least 21 years old. You still wouldn’t be able to grow marijuana at home, according to the bill. You also wouldn’t be able to consume it in public or in the car. Municipalities would be able to decide if they want the plant to be sold in their jurisdiction. Employers and some residential property owners could also decide not to allow recreational use.
Beyond buying and selling, the bill would also allow people to have prior marijuana offenses cleared from their record if they don’t have any convictions for violent felonies.
Delaware would tax the drug at 15 percent, under the current draft of the bill, which could raise millions in taxes. Supporters also hope that consumers will be enticed by what they argue is a safer product. It would be sold in opaque, child-resistant packaging with a warning label.
The sponsors said Thursday they don’t know yet how much revenue it would generate, or how much any added law enforcement would cost. Last year supporters said legalization would raise more than $20 million in taxes and the current estimate ranges from $9 million to $50 million.
California, for example, earned far less than anticipated in revenue, while legalization leader Colorado earned far more. Analysts attribute the difference in part to a persistent black market, where prices can be lower.
But some argue that Delaware would be at a competitive advantage if it becomes one of the first in the region to legalize and tax the drug. The state essentially would be in a race with New Jersey to do it first. Pennsylvania officials also have talked about legalizing pot.
Supporters of legalization say it could benefit agriculture workers across the state. Paradee thinks farmers would likely find opportunities in growing cannabis for concentrates — especially if they grow it outdoors.
“There’s simply not enough known,” said Delaware Healthcare Association President and CEO Wayne Smith. “It makes it a big medical uncertainty.”
Patrick Ogden, chairman of the Police Chiefs Council, worries about increases in impaired driving leading to more fatal car crashes. He’s also one of many who doesn’t expect the black market to go away. “The illegal market, their THC level is higher and people are going for the illegal amount versus the legal amount, because you can get higher,” Ogden said. “Once you take it out of its original packaging, we wouldn’t be able to tell if it was sold legally or on the black market.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police hadn’t taken a public stance on marijuana legalization, but the Delaware State Troopers Association is against legalization.
Proponents are hopeful that lawmakers will be swayed by public polling that indicates most residents favor recreational use. It’s the same kind of argument that pro-gun control advocates used before three of their favored bills failed to make it to a floor vote last week.
Among those who would have to be swayed is Gov. John Carney, who has the final say as to whether a bill becomes law. Carney opposed the measure last year and recently signed legislation that will raise the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. Marijuana legalization could be inconsistent with that public health message, a spokesman said earlier this year.
Under another bill, doctors could get wider discretion to recommend marijuana to patients. Sen. Anthony Delcollo, R-Elsmere, also has legislation that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to OK its use.
Letter to the Editor – Criminalize Being a Macaroon! – 5/18/19
What a bunch of macaroons! Yes, I am talking about state legislators who oppose the legalization of marijuana, a measure favored by most Delawareans and people with common sense.
Opponents say things like “too little is known” and other nonsense to try to make sense of their “Reefer Madness mentality”! It is true that we could use more research on the effects/hazards/benefits of Pot, but that will never come until the feds make it legal: labs at research hospitals and universities are afraid of violating federal law. Many studies already done show great benefits of marijuana. Most of what we read about the hazards (increased traffic deaths, for example) is pure bunk.
We DO know that the current state of affairs, with marijuana criminalized: a) does not reduce crime, b) does not prevent people from getting marijuana, c) keeps employed hundreds of people benefiting from it, like cops, prison guards, and many more, who lobby heavily to block needed changes, c) ruins lives needlessly, with scores of people being arrested annually on pot charges. Yes, despite what some lawmakers say, the truth is that many continue to get arrested and jailed. Anyone saying differently either does not know what they are talking about or is outright lying. I get calls and emails weekly from families of those affected!
Quit the crap, and do what is inevitable: legalize marijuana now.
Ken Abraham, former Deputy Attorney General, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
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