Delaware Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee Again Following Procedural Misstep

Delaware Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee Again Following Procedural Misstep
MJ moment

A Delaware House committee on Tuesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana for a second time following a procedural mishap that inadvertently prevented public testimony on the proposal at an earlier meeting. Rep. Ed Osienski (D) is sponsoring the legislation to simply legalize cannabis possession and gifting, as well as a companion bill that would create a regulatory framework for the market. The two-track approach to reform is the sponsor’s response to the House defeating a prior measure in March that included both components. The idea is to get the basic legalization bill through the chamber with a simple majority, thereby putting pressure on lawmakers to support the separate proposal that requires a 3/5th supermajority, rather than leave the market unregulated. Key legislators have signaled that the bifurcated approach might work, even if they don’t support legalization. But because of a procedural issue last month—with the chair of the House Health & Human Services Committee approving a motion to vote on the simple legalization bill HB 371 before the public had a chance to testify—the timeline was pushed back. The panel reconvened on Tuesday to get that public feedback, hearing from numerous witnesses before voting once more to advance the measure. The panel didn’t initially have enough support from members present at the meeting for passage, but lawmakers were given time throughout the day to record their votes, and a majority eventually signed on. “This bill ends over 50 years of prohibition and criminalization in Delaware,” Osienski told fellow lawmakers at Tuesday’s hearing. Several pro-legalization activists testified in favor of the reform proposal, while representatives of the administration of Gov. John Carney (D) and the Medical Society of Delaware spoke in opposition. Meanwhile, the House Revenue & Finance Committee passed the separate marijuana regulation bill last month and sent it…

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Source : Delaware Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee Again Following Procedural Misstep

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