Governor John Carney on Tuesday vetoed House Bill 371, legislation that would have legalized the possession of marijuana in Delaware.
The bill, which Governor Carney vetoed Tuesday morning, would have removed all penalties for possession by a person 21 years of age or older of one ounce or less of marijuana and ensure that there are no criminal or civil penalties for transfers without remuneration of one ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older.
The following is Governor Carney’s statement to the Delaware House of Representatives:
“Pursuant to Article III, Section 18 of the Delaware Constitution, I am vetoing House Bill No. 371 by returning it with my objections to the Delaware House of Representatives without my signature.
House Bill No. 371 would, among other things, remove all penalties for possession by a person 21 years of age or older of one ounce or less of marijuana and ensure that there are no criminal or civil penalties for transfers without remuneration of one ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older.
I recognize the positive effect marijuana can have for people with certain health conditions, and for that reason, I continue to support the medical marijuana industry in Delaware. I supported decriminalization of marijuana because I agree that individuals should not be imprisoned solely for the possession and private use of a small amount of marijuana — and today, thanks to Delaware’s decriminalization law, they are not.
That said, I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people. Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unresolved.
I respect the Legislative Branch’s role in this process, and I understand that some hold a different view on this issue. However, I have been clear about my position since before I took office, and I have articulated my concerns many times.
For the reasons stated above, I am hereby vetoing HB 371 by returning it to the House of Representatives without my signature.”