Wilmington, Delaware Metropolis Council votes in assist of hashish legalization

Wilmington, DE – Wilmington City Council members passed a resolution calling on the Delaware General Assembly to pass HB150, the adult cannabis legalization law.

The action was sponsored by Councilor Zanthia Oliver and co-sponsored by nine of the thirteen councilors, including Congo City Council President. It was passed with twelve votes in favor. Councilor Nathan Fields abstained.

Wilmington City Council members strongly supported the resolution. Many agreed that Delaware was overdue to pass full legalization of cannabis, and some took the time to dispel common misconceptions that were often repeated by anti-marijuana groups.

Councilor and attorney Chris Johnson noted, “People will say, ‘Well we can’t test for marijuana and motorists.’ Look – people still do it now. So that’s just a mistake, that’s something they’re throwing out of there. [Police] do it now. You have ways to see if a person is drunk. That will not change when this law is passed. So let’s use our common sense … ”

Councilor Linda Gray asked to be co-sponsored during the hearing, stating, “In the West and Europe, they are even using marijuana to rehabilitate drug addicts. It reduces anxiety and depression. So that’s another use for cannabis – its mental health use. “

Vanity Sanders, Director of Community Relations for the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network (Delaware CAN) and a Wilmington resident, also agrees that Delaware adult legalization is overdue and commends the Wilmington City Council for passing a resolution in support of HB150 that she thinks will be very helpful to the city.

“Legalizing cannabis is the first step in repairing and rebuilding the communities in Delaware hardest hit by the bans, like Wilmington,” Sanders said. “HB150 will reduce arrests and create much-needed jobs and business opportunities for our city and state to help.” Lowering the unemployment rate, especially after the pandemic. ”

Sanders noted, “Our city is only a few miles from New Jersey, so it doesn’t make sense to continue punishing people for behaviors that are now legal across the bridge. It is so important for our lawmakers who represent Wilmington to support this sensible move. ”

The bilateral resolution mentions the social and economic benefits of legalization and how it will eradicate the dangerous illegal market, generate millions of dollars in revenue and create thousands of “much needed new jobs”.

Zoë Patchell, executive director of Delaware CAN, says this year’s bill in particular provides more opportunities to ensure affected communities in Wilmington and other regions of the state don’t lag behind in the industry.

“States from Michigan to Oregon have legalized and established that communities targeting marijuana arrests have been excluded from the new cannabis industry.” Patchell said.

“Access to large amounts of capital and previous convictions for cannabis offenses, loss of property and money from civilian assets, and a host of other collateral ramifications from the ban pose significant hurdles for people trying to own or own a business find employment in the EU legal industry. HB150 specifically provides an opportunity for those living in areas disproportionately affected by these harmful policies, removing and lowering barriers to entry so that everyone has opportunities rather than being limited to a few who have the resources to participate. Patchell said.

Research shows that black residents strive for a disproportionate number of cannabis arrests despite almost the same consumption rates across races. A 2020 ACLU report, A Tale of Two Countries, said Delaware ranks 15th in the nation in terms of racial disparities in marijuana arrests, with black consumers being arrested 4.2 times more than that white consumers.

HB150 passed the House Committee on Health and Human Development by 10-5 last month and is awaiting a vote in the House Funds Committee before going to the House to vote. Send a message to the members of the Grants Committee in support of HB150 now!

According to a 2018 survey by the University of Delaware, 61% of Delaware residents support the measure.

The Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network is a voluntary, citizen-run grassroots advocacy group. Since 2013, our members have been committed to lifting all criminal sanctions on cannabis, introducing criminal reforms for those affected by the cannabis ban, and replacing the current illegal cannabis market with a safe, legal and well-regulated industry.

See the text of Wilmington City Council Resolution No. 0052. Watch as the members of Wilmington City Council discuss the resolution (2:09:03).

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