After Delaware’s Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis on Thursday, some opponents expressed that they thought it was a move in the wrong moral direction.
In fact, not a single Republican voted for the bill when it was up for consideration in the state House earlier this month. “This is a bill we’re going to regret,” said Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover). “The message we’re sending young people is one we simply should not send.”
That message, as far as we can tell, is modern common sense tempered with a little bit of nonchalance. “Yeah, we’re decriminalizing weed,” the 18th state to do so in the union seems to be saying. “Big fucking deal.”
“The governor remains committed to reducing the number of people entering the criminal justice system and refocusing resources where they are needed most,” Gov. Markell’s spokesperson said in a statement. Translation: “Oh, you guys want to get high? Cool, we got a government to run. So, why don’t we each just go do our own thing? Have a good one!”
This cool cat cannabis credo was echoed by the bill’s primary sponsor Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Democrat). “We don’t want to affect financial aid, we don’t want to affect housing, we don’t want to affect jobs.” They just want to have a state government that doesn’t tie itself up penalizing people for doing what everyone does and, in a good chunk of the country, does legally.
The bill goes live in six months. Possession of less than an ounce will be considered a civil offense punishable by a ticket up to $100. Smoking in public, in a moving vehicle, or on private property ten feet or less from a public area will be considered a misdemeanor and punishable with a fine of $200 and up to five days in jail.
Meanwhile, the Delaware government will be busy not putting people in jail or hassling people for these crimes and, instead, taking care of business and making more future Vice-Presidents. NBD.
Gif via Persephone Magazine