As Delaware prepares to legalize recreational marijuana, residents say legislation has been ‘long overdue’

DELAWARE (WPVI) — The recreational use of marijuana by adults in Delaware will soon be legal.

Action News asked residents what their response was to the news, and many say it was long overdue.

READ | Delaware Governor Carney drops opposition to marijuana legalization

“It’s beneficial for other states that allow it, so why not Delaware?” said Kingsley Ononiw, from Newark, Delaware.

“No reason people should have to drive over to Jersey or drive to another state and just bring it back anyway,” said Steve Labowski, from Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

Delaware Governor John Carney announced he will not veto legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana use.

This announcement marks a turnaround for the governor. Last year, he vetoed a legalization bill.

“House Bill 1 would make personal use personal consumption of an ounce or less legal in Delaware,” said Representative Ed Osienski. “House Bill 2 is the regulatory and taxing portion of the bill which will allow a legal market to be established here in Delaware.”

Osienski is the sponsor of the first bill. He agrees with Carney when it comes to concerns over children and impaired driving in the state.

“This legalization is still limited to the confines of your own home. You cannot consume this in a public place. You have to be 21, and you cannot consume this in a vehicle,” he said.

Osienski believes that legalization can help regulate marijuana use.

“We can educate the public and we can put warning labels,” he noted.

Delawareans agree that marijuana should stay out of the hands of kids, and believe that revenue from sales will be beneficial across the board.

“I think it’s great, it’s about time. As long as it doesn’t hurt children, it’s more for adults,” said Karen Thomas from Claymont, Delaware. “For revenue alone, there are other states benefiting from it. It’ll benefit everybody.”

While personal use will become legal on Sunday, selling marijuana will be a lengthy process.

“The governor has to appoint a commissioner, which will have to set up an oversight committee and then propagate regulations,” said Osienski. “Delawareans will have to be patient. We want to do this right, we want to make sure all the regulations are in place before we are up and running.”

That process could take up to at least 19 months.

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