Delaware: House Members Fail to Advance Legalization Legislation

Legislation (HB 305) to regulate the adult-use cannabis market in Delaware failed today in the House of Representatives. Despite a majority of lawmakers who participated in the vote deciding in favor of the measure, it failed to garner the required 3/5 supermajority to advance to the Senate. (Because the measure also involves tax-related issues, it required support from 60 percent of lawmakers.)

Delaware NORML and the Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition have been working diligently to shepherd the bill’s passage this session. Delaware NORML’s Executive Director, Laura Sharer, said: “I am outraged that the House of Representatives voted against the interests of a common sense, citizen-led movement supported by 61 percent of Delawareans. Our coalition has been working on this measure for nearly a decade, and there’s been majority support for this legislation the entire time.”

HB 305, authored by Rep. Ed Osienski, sought to allow those 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and established a framework for its retail production and sale. 

NORML’s State Policy Manager, Jax James, called the result disappointing. “The ongoing prohibition of marijuana financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color,” she said.