The Delaware Recreational Marijuana Task Force is scheduled to meet the first Wednesday of every month. The meetings are two hours long and will be held until the end of 2017. The group consists of lawmakers, interest groups, experts and agency heads.
A full report on the task force’s findings are due to the governor by the end of January 2018, according to Delaware Public Media. The state legislature will also receive a copy of the task force’s report. Chief Public Defender, Brendan O’Neill, believes that marijuana can be treated like alcohol.
O’Neill said, “About a 100,000 people in the state are already using this on a regular basis. And as a community or as a state, it’s not a good idea to have laws that are disregarded on a wholesale basis. I mean, we don’t want to have laws that people ignore. It breeds disrespect for all our other laws.”
The potential tax revenues the state could receive are attractive to leaders as the state does need the funds. Others are worried about the “unintended consequences”, such as children consuming edibles on accident and increases in impaired drivers on the roadways.
The Delaware Police Chief’s Council is concerned about public safety. Bill Bryson, chairman of the group, said that homelessness and crime increased in Colorado and Washington after legalization.
Bryson said, “We’re concerned about the black market, which still exists in Colorado and Washington, and the gray market which exists in Colorado and Washington, where marijuana is grown legally and sold illegally. Walmart wouldn’t be in the business if people didn’t look for the best price. So when you tax it, you’re going to raise the price and people are still going to go elsewhere.”
One opportunity to legalize adult use was already shot down this year. A University of Delaware study outlines that a majority of Delaware residents support legalization, so that has interest sparked again.