DOVER, Del. - The legalization of the recreational use of marijuana could be a reality for the first state.
"There was a lot of great interest with trying to move forward to try and get the rules and regulations in place," says Representative Helene Keeley, a co-chair of the task force.
Last legislative session, a bill to legalize marijuana failed to pass the house. However instead of leaving it there, the General Assembly created a task force to see how recreational marijuana would be implemented in Delaware, as well as make recommendations if the state sides on the path of legalization.
"We're at a place of pause right now to take a look whether that type of law is actually a good idea," says Cathy Rossi, a task force member, and official from AAA.
During the task force's first meeting, members discussed both pros and cons. One con brought up was the threat to public safety.
"We don't have the kind of roadside impairment test for law enforcement to use for marijuana, that we do for alcohol. That creates a lot of challenges for our police officers, and frankly puts a lot of people at risk on the road," says Rossi.
A pro brought up during the meeting is getting rid of the black market and having regulated places where consumers can buy the product.
"There is a black market out there, and I would like to get rid of that black market and have people being able to go into the store in safe and legally, like they would do so in a store and buy a six pack of beer or bottle of wine," says Rep. Keeley.
Going forward the task force says they still have a lot to go over, but they want to make sure each possibility is discussed before they release their final recommendations.
"If the state walks that path of legalization, we got to be prepared for it on a number of levels," says Rossi.
The task force will also be looking into substance abuse prevention and what this could mean for employers and work safety.
The panel will be hosting their next meeting on October 4th at Legislative Hall and is expected to report their findings to the governor and General assembly by the end of January.
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