A digital panel dialogue about marijuana, “Myths vs. Facts,” was held not too long ago, in search of to deal with a number of the issues concerning the influence that legalization of marijuana to be used by adults would have in Delaware. Delaware House Bill 150 would legalize leisure use of cannabis by these 21 or older.
Members of the panel included one of many invoice’s sponsors, state Rep. Ed Osienski, in addition to Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, a nationwide marijuana advocacy group, and Dr. David Nathan, a practising psychiatrist and the founding father of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
The occasion was sponsored by Delaware’s Cannabis Policy Coalition, which incorporates the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network (DeCAN), Delaware NORML and 20 different organizations.
Armentano began the dialogue by addressing issues about issues of safety beneath legalization.
“The reality is that we all share those concerns. I drive on the same roads, my family drives on the same roads. We all want safe roads,” Armentano mentioned. “We have multiple studies that have tracked motor vehicle accident rates in states like Washington and Colorado in the years immediately prior to and the years following the enactment of cannabis legalization.”
When statistics in these states are in contrast with related states that haven’t modified their marijuana insurance policies, he mentioned, “What we see is that the trends in legal states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California are generally no different than the traffic safety trends in other states that haven’t changed their marijuana laws.”
Osienski mentioned legalization “will create good-paying jobs in Delaware, and the bill includes measures that would ensure that people who live in under-served communities and those who are “disproportionately affected” by arrests beneath present state drug legal guidelines would profit from legalization.
He mentioned new small companies, referred to as “micro-growers,” would profit from clauses that give them a particular class and preferential remedy in terms of licensing, over bigger business growers.
Attorney Shaleen Title, a former inaugural commissioner of the Cannabis Commission of Massachusetts who now serves as vice-chair of Cannabis Regulators of Color, responded to claims made about points with office security and legal responsibility post-legalization.
“I can understand how, perhaps, in the beginning, when the first two states were legalizing, there may have been some question as to this point. But at this time in 2021, I really question whether claims like that are being made in good faith, because there is just a massive body of evidence showing none of those effects whatsoever.”
“As a mother, I really like to see that youth usage rates have either stayed the same or gone down” in Massachusetts, Title mentioned. “For me, it’s about stopping arrests, but regulation is also important, she said. “The products that people are using are tested and regulated,” she mentioned of legalization, which she mentioned means fewer chemical substances used within the manufacturing.
Title added that one of many earlier main opponents of cannabis legalization in Massachusetts, state Sen. Jason Lewis, has now reversed his anti-legalization stance since voters in that Commonwealth legalized cannabis in 2016. Lewis has since launched a invoice that might prohibit Massachusetts employers from discriminating in opposition to workers who eat cannabis after work hours.
Armentano urged these with inquiries to lookup the information.
“We don’t have to speculate. We don’t have to ask, ‘What if?’ We can simply look at the states that already have the real-world experience with cannabis regulation and see that the sky has not fallen.
“Many of these states, economically, like Colorado, are thriving. Public polls show that a greater percentage of the public support these policies today than did when they were initially enacted. And that’s because these sorts of fear-mongering claims have never come to fruition.”
If leisure use of marijuana by adults is legalized, Armentano mentioned, “We end thousands of low-level arrests overnight.” Of the 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, which have legalized leisure use of marijuana, none have repealed the legalization and a number of other are revisiting their statutes as a way to broaden them, he mentioned.
Nathan rebutted claims made that cannabis is a “gateway” to drug dependancy.
“The only way in which cannabis can lead to other drugs is when it is sold with them, and that only happens in illegal markets,” he mentioned.
“In regulated markets, it is sold by itself, it is labeled properly, and people know what they are getting. And when it comes to under-age use with regulated or unregulated markets, when cannabis is legalized in a particular place, it sends the message to our kids that science matters, and that we are creating a legal market distinction between adult use, which is generally safe, and under-age use, which is not,” he mentioned.
Nathan added that analysis is displaying that states which have legalized have seen a 20 to 25 p.c discount in opiate overdoses, noting that there have been greater than 90,000 deaths from medicine simply final 12 months — not one in every of which concerned cannabis.
“I believe that we have a solid bill that has the support of the public,” Osienski mentioned. “And I believe that we have the political will to pass this bill this year.”
HB150 handed the Delaware House Health & Human Development Committee, 10-5, with bipartisan help, and is awaiting motion by the House Appropriations Committee.
University of Delaware polls present that 61 p.c of the general public helps legalization.
A full recording of the discussion board might be discovered on-line at https://www.facebook.com/DelawareCANorg/videos/1837958636385313/.