Delaware State Troopers

State Troopers urge Carney to veto marijuana bills

Sam HautGovernment, Headlines

Delaware State Troopers

The Delaware State Trooper Association opposes marijuana legalization

The Delaware State Trooper Association has put out ads urging Governor John Carney to veto two bills related to marijuana legalization in the state.

The ads say the trooper believe legalization will lead to more driving deaths and ask Delaware residents to call Carney’s office to urge him to veto both bills.

House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 passed the General Assembly and aim to legalize the personal use of marijuana and set up an industry to sell legalized marijuana. 

The ads have shown up on social media and in texts on phones, providing a number to call.

Tom Brackin, executive director of the Delaware State Trooper Association, said they association believes the bills will increase the illegal marijuana market.

“Particularly where it’s been legalized, it hasn’t done what they keep advertising, that it eliminates the legal weed business,” Brackin said. “It in fact incentivizes and makes the illegal weed business even busier. If you’re an entrepreneur as a weed seller, it’s not going to be hard for you to sell your marijuana cheaper than what the state’s going to sell it for with the taxes.”

Trooper ad

Ad from DSTA

The campaign is funded by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit that has supported opposition to marijuana initiatives in most states across the country.

The group applauded Carney vetoing House Bill 371 last year, which would have also legalized marijuana in the state. There were not enough votes in the House to override that veto.

Luke Niforatos, executive vice president for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said that besides partnering with the Trooper Association, they are also working with the AAA Mid Atlantic, Delaware Healthcare Association, Sunday Breakfast Mission, Attack Addiction, the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police, and the Delaware Association of Chiefs of Police.

Niforatos believes the marijuana industry will try to target children in products they put out in Delaware.

“We’ll see a massive commercial industry in Delaware that will promote these products,” Niforatos said. “They’re gonna be child-friendly products, even though the law says no child-friendly packaging. The industry is very very good at getting around the rules and still targeting kids.”

The nonprofit also has put out a statement urging Carney to veto the two marijuana bills this year as well, saying it’s disappointed House Bill 1 and 2 passed because they will endanger the health and safety of Delawareans.

House Bill 1 passed the Senate 16 to 4 and passed the House 28 to 13 while House Bill 2 passed the Senate 15 to 5 and passed the House 27 to 13.

A three-fifths majority in both chambers is needed to override a veto. 

The bill is a darling of the Democrats, who have a supermajority in the Senate and a majority in the House. Because a few Republicans voted for the bills, any veto might be overturned.

Brackin said that he has no reason to assume that Carney won’t veto the two bills, as he has done in the past.

However, Carney’s office also asked for an amendment that included technical corrections and clarification to House Bill 2, which would establish a pot industry. It passed by voice vote. 

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