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Politics & Government

Cannabis task force moves to issue final report in late February

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Delaware Public Media
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The task force studying legalizing recreational pot for adults Wednesday detailed a long list of outstanding concerns by interest groups.

The task force expects to issue its final report by the end of February.

Some business leaders and law enforcement officers are among those who oppose legalizing marijuana in Delaware. Police officers say they’re concerned about children having greater access to pot and a rise in cannabis related crime.

Critics also worry about a possible rise in Delawareans driving under the influence.

Task force Co-Chair State Rep. Helene Keeley said her biggest outstanding concern is testing people suspected of impaired driving.

“There’s a company that’s been doing a pilot program out in California," she said. "From what I have read and what was sent to me that they are getting pretty decent results. In Europe, there’s another company that is doing roadside testing currently, and it’s just a matter of when we can actually get something like that available in Delaware.”

Keeley said law enforcement will need more money for things like DUI enforcement, forensic testing and canine drug detection training.

“I think that’s why it’s really important to make sure that the funding from the taxes would go to identifying individuals - allowing police officers to be trained so they can identify people driving under the influence," she said.

Law enforcement officials also say they’ll need to retrain dogs not to react to marijuana.

Meanwhile, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce wants the cannabis legislation to allow employers to discipline workers using marijuana at work and those who not complying with federal laws on drug-free workplaces.

Keeley said she and Co-chair State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry will meet with business leaders and law enforcement about their concerns.

The task force is scheduled to meet once more in early February.

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