Gov. Carney comments on passing of HB 371, says it shouldn’t go past de-criminalization
DELAWARE – House Bill 371 is on its way to Governor John Carney’s desk, which removes penalties for the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana, paving the way for legal adult recreational marijuana. However, the Governor says he has some concerns.
Currently, it’s a crime to possess more than 1 ounce of marijuana, and public consumption is an unclassified misdemeanor. However, HB 371 changes that as well as adds provisions that there will be no criminal or civil penalty for transfers of 1 ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older.
While getting the bill this far has been in the works for almost 10 years, and marijuana advocates celebrated the small victory, Governor Carney says it shouldn’t go farther than de-criminalization. “I don’t think it should be a criminal offense but this bill that passed just decriminalizes it, it doesn’t have a regulatory piece that goes with it. So we’re looking at the same concerns that I’ve been articulating for some time with respect to public safety and its effect on our young people and we’ll continue to keep those in mind,” says Gov. Carney.
While the Governor says he is still taking a look at the bill, further efforts to create a legal market for marijuana in Delaware will be his biggest concern.
The bill awaits the Governor’s action.