Cannabis must be legalized now

February 17, 2023

Once again, the Delaware General Assembly considers cannabis (marijuana) legalization for adult use in the form of HB1 and HB2. Our legislators should pass these bills quickly to end the failed, ruinous, costly policy of cannabis prohibition.

Arguments extolling the economic, societal and civil justice advantages of legalization, while all valid, are moot at this point. Regulated, adult-use legalization has the approval of an overwhelming percentage of the electorate and, indeed, a supermajority of our legislators. The only reason it was not enacted last session was opposition from the governor and speaker of the House – both of whom are thwarting the wishes of their party and the voters.

Our legislators must finally honor the wishes of the electorate and pass these bills decisively. They must inform Gov. Carney that this time the Delaware Way will not be used to undemocratically obstruct progress and that, unlike last session, his veto will be overridden.

With Maryland and New Jersey fully legal, it is untenable for Delaware to remain a prohibitionist state. Millions of Delaware dollars will soon flow into Maryland’s coffers when dispensaries are opened there, perhaps as soon as this year. It is to our detriment, not only to lose that revenue, but also to lose the many businesses and jobs that legalization creates.

The people have already decided this issue. Around half of Americans now live in a state where cannabis is legal. The stoner apocalypse predicted by opponents is nonexistent; the results of legalization are merely increased revenue and fewer young people incarcerated. It is time for Delaware to end the criminalization of the cannabis market. HB1 and HB2 should become law as soon as the Legislature reconvenes in March. 

Mark Jacobs
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number and address for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. Letters should be responsive to issues addressed in the Cape Gazette rather than content from other publications or media. Only one letter per author will be published every 30 days. Letters restating information and opinions already offered by the same author will not be used. Letters must focus on issues of general, local concern, not personalities or specific businesses.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter