Marijuana legalization bill advances

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HB110, a bill that would make the possession of a small amount of marijuana legal could be headed for a vote in the DelawareHouse.

The bill was released by theHouse Revenue and Finance committee.

However, some legislators said the measure might still need amendments before it could get an up or down vote, WHYY reported.

A powerful coalition that includes AAA Mid-Atlantic, The Medical Society of Delaware and the DelawareState Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill.

Opposition centers over concerns regarding traffic accidents, employment policies regarding marijuana use, drug screening and the lack of a spot test for driving while under the influence of the substance.

Medical societies have called for the lifting of a federal ban on research to determine the effects of marijuana.

Marijuana legalization has proved to be a hard climb in states without direct legislation that comes from referendum votes. A majority of Delawareans favor legalization, based on polling.

New Jersey came close, but did not approve the legislation. It is now expected to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana.

Delaware has already decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, although backers of the bill say civil penalties could still bar people from jobs and point to racial disparities in marijuana arrests between African Americans and whites, even though the two groups have comparable usage of the drug.

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