General Assembly Vote Tracker

The various Marijuana Bills before the General Assembly

Sometimes a Republican will come up with a good bill and that bill deserves to be passed despite the fact that it’s main author or prime sponsor is a dastardly evil Republican who supports Trump. House Bill 243 is one of those bills. The bill would have allowed medical marijuana patients in Delaware to grow their own pot, up to six mature plants and six immature plants. I say would have because the bill’s prime sponsor, State Representative Mike Smith, tabled the bill after its hearing last month.

Apparently the bill garnered some opposition, perhaps from law enforcement and from the growing medical marijuana industry in the state, as the bill would cut into the current monopoly enjoyed by the state-licensed “compassionate care centers.” Rep. Smith said at the start of the hearing that he’d “rather work to improve the bill versus having it dead on arrival right now.” Therefore, we have to presume that Rep. Smith will be either striking the bill and introducing a new one, or he is working on a substitute or an amendment. Here are the bill details:

House Bill 243 – Tabled in House Committee 1/29/2020

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Bennett, Paradee, Sokola, Osienski

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — M.Smith, Delcollo

YES VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

NO VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

ABSENT –

NOT VOTING –  

Next is a Republican bill that I really don’t care about one way or the other (and in fact it gets a big eye roll reaction from me, but whatever), Senator Delcollo’s Senate Bill 79, which would allow a medical marijuana patient the right to possess or purchase a firearm. Apparently, the red flag laws passed last session can somehow be read to render those under the influence of marijuana (which medical marijuana patients are) without right to purchase or possess a gun. Gun Right Proponent Sen. Anthony Delcollo (R) said it was a miscarriage of justice to treat people who are sick and want to use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms as “second class citizens.”

SB79 was passed by the Senate on the last night of the session in 2019, and it has been passed out of committee in the House, ready for consideration on the floor of the House when it returns from the six week Budget hearing break. Here are the bill details:

SENATE BILL 79 — Senate Passed 20-0. Out of House Committee 1/29/2020

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Paradee, Bennett, Townsend, Baumbach, Brady, Bush, Osienski, K.Williams

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Delcollo, Lawson, Pettyjohn, Spiegelman, Wilson, Ramone, Yearick

YES VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — Bonini, Brown, Cloutier, Delcollo, Ennis, Hansen, Hocker. Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell, Paradee, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Wilson

NO VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

ABSENT – Pettyjohn

NOT VOTING – 

Another Delcollo Marijuana bill that is hanging out there without action on it for a year on more is Senate Bill 59, which seems to be another simple bill that allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana for patients. It makes you wonder if there is some regulation in state law, federal law or just in the healthcare industry that prevents such information dissemination that makes this bill necessary.

The bill remains in the Senate Health & Social Services Committee since last March and the only action taken on the bill since has been Senator Delcollo introducing an Amendment that this bill would only apply to patients over 18, whereas for those under 18, only physicians with specific specialties may recommend medical marijuana.

SENATE BILL 59 – Senate Health & Social Services 3/21/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Sokola, Baumbach, Lockman, Paradee, Sturgeon, Bennett, Q.Johnson, Kowalko, Lynn, K.Williams

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Delcollo, Cloutier, Lopez, Ramone, M.Smith, Pettyjohn

YES VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

NO VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

ABSENT –

NOT VOTING –  

Senator Bryan Townsend’s Senate Bill 170 would add anxiety to the list of conditions that can be treated under the medical marijuana law. The bill was released from its Senate committee last June, but has not seen action on the Senate floor yet. Hopefully it gets on the Senate agenda when the chamber returns in five weeks.

SENATE BILL 170 – Out of Senate Committee 6/27/2019

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Townsend, Osienski, Lockman, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Baumbach, Brady, K.Williams

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Delcollo, Cloutier, Lopez, Spiegelman, M.Smith

YES VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

NO VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

ABSENT –

NOT VOTING –  

Finally, House Bill 110. The Legalization bill. The Recreational Marijuana bill. The Big Enchilada. The Delaware Marijuana Control Act regulates and taxes marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. It allows adults over the age of 21 to legally possess and consume under 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. It does not permit people to grow their own marijuana.  When introduced, the bill was assigned to the House Revenue & Finance Committee. That committee released the bill favorably on June 5. The very next day, it was reassigned to the House Appropriations Committee, where it remains. I am curious whether the bill will remain there buried for the rest of the session or if lawmakers will seize the day and release it and vote on it.

They have voted on this bill before. In 2018, HB110 was defeated by a 21-15 vote. The bill needed a 3/5th majority vote since it raised revenue through taxes. Here is how the House voted in 2018:

YESB.Short, Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Brady, J.Johnson,  K.Williams, Keeley, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Matthews, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Osienski, Paradee, Potter, Q.Johnson, Spiegelman, Viola

NOBriggs King, Collins, D.Short, Dukes, Gray, Hensley, Hudson, Kenton, Miro, Outten, Postles, Ramone, Smyk, Wilson, Yearick

DID NOT VOTECarson, Jaques, Melanie Smith, Schwartzkopf, Bolden

We need 25 votes. So four more votes.  And it is possible we have them.      Kendra Johnson replaced Melanie George Smith.  Krista Griffith replaced Deborah Hudson.  They could be yes votes.  So could non-voter Stephanie Bolden.  Could Earl Jaques feel some primary pressure to vote yes?    And given Michael Smith’s sponsorship of all the other marijuana bills above, could he be a yes vote? 

HOUSE BILL 110 — House Appropriations Committee 6/6/2019

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Osienski, Paradee, Baumbach, Brady, Heffernan, Kowalko, Lynn, Viola, Sturgeon, Bentz, Q.Johnson, Seigfried

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS –

YES VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

NO VOTES — HOUSE —   ///  SENATE — 

ABSENT –

NOT VOTING –  

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

6 comments on “The various Marijuana Bills before the General Assembly

  1. Senator Wilson’s staff may want to consider adopting the slogan, “a gun in every pot” for his re-election campaign. No pun intended.

  2. Can the clowns get it right this time? Past history would suggest no, they’ll make a mess of it like usual, dreams of a new revenue stream dancing in their tiny minds or not.

  3. Is it even worth it to try and get Senator Hansen on board with these, or is she busy planing her campaign for Lt gov?

    ANYHOO.. the fact people with an Adderal RX are allowed to buy guns but not a cannabis RX is insane. yes, yes, i know, “no one” should buy guns, but Im more in support of the opposite. if you want to but a gun, you should be required to take a big ol Bong rip of Blue Dream. in about 4 hours if you still want the gun, fine. But you are also offered a pizza and a choice. thats how ya reduce guns.

  4. What about Bryan Shupe? He’s voted fairly moderately on social issues and could be sold on the economic benefits.

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