Advocates host cannabis rally, push to override Governor Carney’s veto

DOVER, Del. – In Dover, advocates joined forces outside of Legislative Hall Tuesday afternoon for a rally with one mission: override Governor Carney’s recent veto of cannabis reform legislation.

“We can not nor should not ignore the will of the body, nor the people who voted to send us to Dover. We must override the veto HB371,” Primary Sponsor Representative Ed Osienski said.

If passed, HB371 would legalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older. “61% of Delawareans support this legislation,” Patchell said. “However, Governor Carney decided to veto that bill based on his own personal opinion of Cannabis and not based in the research or the data that shows cannabis is considerably safer than alcohol.”

The bill would also remove civil and criminal penalties associated with possession.

Advocates say it’s not only a social justice fight, but one for racial justice as well. “The numbers show although marijuana use is similar when it comes to black and whites, blacks are six times more likely to be arrested for possession charges,” ACLU Delaware’s Haneef Salaam said.

“Often times you have officers that are patrolling black and brown communities that often use ‘I smell marijuana’ as a reason to pull cars over.”

The legislation originally passed with a super majority vote of 3/5 in both chambers of the general assembly.

Those I spoke with say they’re hoping for that same outcome with an override to legalize cannabis and.. “End these intrusive stops, end the embarrassing searches, and end the collateral consequences that come with cannabis prohibition,” Patchell said.

“I am highly optimistic but we need our Delaware legislatures to do the right thing when it comes to HB 371,” Salaam said.

To date, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older.

We will continue to follow the process of this story and provide updates as we learn more.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Local Politics