I wonder if this is a sign that the bill will at least get a vote in the House? Which would be positive news are the General Assembly’s ridiculous love of task forces nearly killed this bill through confusion and incompetence.
First off, the Amendment makes the bill easier to pass. Instead of a two-thirds majority vote, which would have been 28 votes in the House and 14 in the Senate, the bill will now be a 3/5ths majority vote (25 votes in House, 13 in Senate). Hey, how about simple majority? I suppose there are tax issues that prevent that.
Second, the Amendment adds a number of recommendations from that ill fated Task Force the held meetings earlier this year. The recommendations concern the potential regulation of marijuana, from consumer safety and impaired driving, to taxation and licensing. The amendment has provisions that would regulate marijuana more strictly, with more controls for safe cultivation, seed to sale tracking, random testing and consumer safeguards that enhance educational labeling and prohibit products that look like candy or cartoon characters.
The Amendment also contains language that further clarifies employer protections as well as explicit language directing 10 percent of tax proceeds to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to improve driving under the influence enforcement through specific training from drug recognition experts, the purchase of devices that measure THC levels as they become available, and implementation of pilot programs to better identify and deter drugged driving.
“Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and I took the discussion and comments received during the Adult Use Cannabis Task Force seriously and we believe this amendment reflects the hard work of the task force members. The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force brought together a variety of stakeholders and has compiled thoughtful and diverse information that would improve House Bill 110,” said Rep. Helene Keeley (D), one of the legislation’s sponsors. “It has been a priority of mine to take our time and carefully study the issues and industries that would be impacted by cannabis regulation. We have the opportunity to create an entirely new industry in Delaware and I am committed to ensuring that cannabis is regulated responsibly and safely.”
“The devil is in the details, and that’s why we’ve strived to be deliberate, serious, and thoughtful about legalizing and regulating cannabis,” said Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D), another one of the sponsors of HB110. “This amendment is a reflection of that effort and of our commitment to addressing good faith questions around the implementation and enforcement of HB 110. I’m hopeful that it will help us move forward on this long-overdue correction of criminal justice policy in Delaware.”
The legislation now awaits a vote in the House. If it is not passed by the House and Senate this year, it will have to be reintroduced in the new session of the General Assembly in January 2019. A University of Delaware poll has indicated that 61 percent of Delaware voters support legalizing cannabis.