The Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition brought its “Rally to Override the Legalization Veto” to the state capital on June 7. Attendees heard a strong list of favorites urging lawmakers to overturn the governor’s unjustified veto of HB 371 – a bill to legalize the possession of up. to an ounce of cannabis for adults 21 years and older in the state.
A day of lobbying followed the rally to allow citizens to meet and personally ask lawmakers to support the lifting of the governor’s veto of HB 371, handed down despite the passage of the law by a strong enough majority to refuse his revenge against justice.
HB 371 passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate by super-majority votes: 26-14 in the House and 13-7 in the Senate. Twenty-five votes are requested in the House to overturn a veto, and 13 are requested in the Senate.
“We’re going to cancel”
“The Delawareans have been very clear about their position [on legalization]. A bipartisan super-majority of this General Assembly has been clear on its position. We cannot and must not ignore the will of this body, nor the will of the people who voted to send it to Dover. We will lift the veto on HB 371, “insisted Rep. Ed Osienski, the first sponsor of the House of Measures.
Video clips of the event are available here.
Speakers at the event included: Rep. Ed Osienski (D), first sponsor of the House; Senator Trey Paradee (D), first Senate sponsor; Zoë Patchell, executive director of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network; Eric Morrison, state representative for the 27th District; Meriah Peacock, Navy Veteran and small business owner; Haneef Salaam, ACLU-DE Delaware Campaign Manager for Smart Justice. Also speaking were Rev Dr Lyle Dyksta (Ret.), Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow; Jennifer Thompkins, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League (MWUL); Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey (CMM-NJ); David Bever, executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice; and Kevin O’Connell, chief defense officer of the Delaware Office of Defense Services.
“Our last hit until 2025”
“Here in Delaware, black cannabis users are arrested four times more than their white counterparts despite similar usage rates. This is our last hit until 2025 to end traumatic and intrusive detentions and search. “Lives are being ruined by the overcrowding of the Black and Brown communities. It is time for the legislature to work for all Delawareans and lift this veto.” – Meriah Peacock, a Navy veteran and owner of a small business in Seaford, Delaware, who was subjected to an undisclosed search during a traffic stop based on the alleged smell of cannabis. No cannabis or other contraband was discovered.
“What we have in place is a murky law. And with HB 371, put in law, put in stone, that our Black and Brown brothers and sisters will not be unfairly criminalized with marijuana possession. This is a bill of justice. racial. ” – Jennifer Thompkins, President and CEO of the Wilmington Urban League Metropolitan.
Haneef Salaam, manager of the Delaware Campaign for Smart Justice at ACLU-DE, shared her experiences of being subjected to racist pretexts without a warrant in Delaware. In 2012, he was searched based on the allegation that the officer smoked marijuana, which was impossible since his windows were raised. He had been waiting for the dogs to come, and it was too late for a meeting to serve the Delawareans as chairman of the board of a returning consortium.
According to the Civiqs poll, 72% of Delaware voters support legalization. An October 2021 Gallup poll found that 68% of Americans believe marijuana use should be legal, including 83% of Democrats and 71% of independents.
To date, 19 states and Washington, DC have legalized cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older. In neighboring New Jersey, the sale of cannabis for adults began in April. Many other states are building a strong moment to legalize adult cannabis in 2022, including Maryland, Missouri and South Dakota.
Members of the Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition include the Marijuana Policy Project; Delaware NORML; the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network (DCAN); the Law Enforcement Partnership (LEAP); Doctors for Cannabis Regulation; UFCW Local 27; Delaware Poor Campaign; NORML National; Network Delaware; Wilmington Urban League Subway; Delaware United; the Civic League for New Castle County; the Delaware Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow; Black Mothers in Power; Delaware Center for Justice; ACLU Delaware; a Campaign for Smart Justice; Building People Power; Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network; Delaware Working Family Party; and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization in the nation. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and is also working to advance federal reforms. Visit www.mpp.org for more information.