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Delaware lawmakers reintroduce bill to legalize marijuana

Democratic lawmakers are again proposing to legalize marijuana in Delaware after a failed effort last year.

The bill introduced Thursday is aimed at eliminating the black market for pot by establishing a state-licensed industry that would create jobs while padding state coffers with licensing fees and taxes.

“We want to create a legal industry that’s going to pay good jobs with good wages and benefits,” said chief House sponsor Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark.

The bill would not allow Delawareans to grow their own marijuana for their personal use.

“It has the potential to actually add to the black market,” bill co-sponsor Sen. Trey Paradee, D-Dover, said of homegrown marijuana.

The new marijuana industry would be overseen by a state oversight committee and a Delaware marijuana commissioner, who would have the authority to adopt regulations and would submit an annual report to the governor and General Assembly.

Democratic Gov. John Carney, meanwhile, remains wary of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

“There are still unanswered questions, and he believes we should continue to monitor progress in other states that have legalized,” Carney’s spokesman, Jon Starkey, said in a statement. [Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer]

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