Marijuana study task force to hold its first meeting on Wed.

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The task force authorized by the Delaware Legislature to study the best way for the state to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use will hold its first meeting on Wednesday in Legislative Hall at 10 a.m.

The meeting will be open to the public.

The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force came out of an unsuccessful effort to legalize small quantities of marijuana for personal use.

The legislation did not authorize growing marijuana and would stil make it illegal ot possess large quantities.

According to a release, the task force “shall study adoption of a model for regulation and taxation of adult-use cannabis in Delaware, including local authority and control, consumer safety and substance abuse prevention, packaging and labeling requirements, impaired driving and other criminal law concerns, and taxation, revenue, and banking issues.”

It will report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by January 31, 2018.

No legalization legislation has made it past the governor. States that have approved recreational use of marijuana have done so through voter a referendum.

Polls have indicated a majority of Delawareans support legalization.

However, a powerful coalition that includes AAA Mid-Atlantic, elements of law enforcement and the medical community have claimed that more study is needed. Issues cited included driving under the influence of the drug, the effect of legalization on the opioid crisis and possible tax benefits.

“We hope that this task force takes an objective look at states that have made marijuana legal for adults and develops an ideal path for Delaware to move forward with similar legislation,” said David Boyer, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Adults in Delaware should no longer be punished for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, and lawmakers have signaled that they are willing to explore the options for regulating and taxing cannabis in a sensible manner.”

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