A second Delaware Senate committee approved a House-passed bill on Thursday to create a regulated adult-use marijuana market, sending it to the floor where a complementary measure to legalize possession is also set for action.
The proposals are being sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski (D), and they both advanced through a separate Senate committee on Wednesday after being approved in the full House.
Now the Senate Finance Committee has also cleared the regulations-focused bill, which needed a second stop because of its fiscal provisions.
Sen. Trey Paradee (D), chair of the panel, is carrying the legislation in the Senate.
He said during Wednesday’s earlier hearing in the Senate Health & Social Services Committee that the state’s existing law that merely decriminalizes low-level cannabis possession is inadequate.
“The arrests have continued and, as a result, lives have been turned upside down,” he said. “Although the civil offense is not as harmful as an arrest, the citations cannot be expunged and still appear in public record searches. This gap has caused a number of Delawareans to miss out on life-changing job opportunities due to the appearance of citations on background checks.”
He noted that ongoing enforcement falls disproportionately on people of color,
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