Governor Pardons 175K Marijuana Convictions

( – Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed an executive order on Monday, June 17, pardoning 175,000 people with marijuana convictions. This historic move was made in Annapolis with state Attorney General Anthony Brown present.

Over 100,000 people will see a benefit from these pardons, which include more than 150,000 misdemeanor convictions for small cannabis possession charges and over 18,000 misdemeanor convictions for possession or use of drugs. Some people have multiple convictions being pardoned under this executive order.

This executive order makes Maryland the first state in the US to give out mass pardons for convictions related to possession and usage of marijuana. The state legalized recreational marijuana in 2023 after a constitutional amendment was approved during the 2022 legislative session. Governor Moore emphasized the importance of addressing past consequences of those who broke the law while also celebrating legalization. He also highlighted the need for rolling out a fair and equitable legal market for the drug, saying that the mass pardons were the only way to make the legalization fair for everybody.

According to Moore, his administration is dedicated to promoting social equity and fair justice. Now that using and having cannabis is legal in Maryland, people will also not face any sort of issues regarding housing, employment, or education due to any past charges of marijuana.

The pardons will not result in the release of people who are currently imprisoned and were carried out using existing state resources. After the signing of the executive order, the state will update each person’s file to indicate any conviction related to cannabis was pardoned by the governor. This update process is expected to take about two weeks.

Governor Moore also instructed the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to make a process to show the pardon on the record of people with an active criminal file.

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