Maryland governor pardons 175,000 cannabis-related convictions which have 'overwhelmingly burdened communities of color'

"The enforcement of cannabis laws has disproportionately and overwhelmingly burdened communities of color."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Maryland Governor Wes Moore on Monday signed an executive order pardoning 175,000 Marylanders convicted of charges related to the possession of cannabis, marking the largest pardon of the charges in any state in the country to date.

The executive order states, "All individuals identified in the Cannabis Possession Pardon List, from information provided to me by the Maryland Judiciary, are granted a full pardon" of misdemeanor cannabis possession and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia offenses, "absolving these persons from the guilt of their criminal offenses and exempting them from any pains and penalties imposed upon them therefore by law." For cases involving the possession of drug paraphernalia, to qualify for a pardon the only other charge in the case must be for misdemeanor cannabis possession.

Of the 175,000 pardons, issued, over 150,000 were for those charged with simple cannabis possession, and over 18,000 were for those convicted of possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, a press release stated. The use or possession of cannabis by those over the age of 21 in the state was legalized after Maryland voters in November, 2022 approved the a constitutional referendum.

"Maryland made history when we legalized cannabis by referendum. But we cannot celebrate the benefits of legalization while forgetting the consequences of criminalization. No Marylander should face barriers to housing, employment, or education based on convictions for conduct that is no longer illegal," Moore said in a statement. 

"Today, we take a big step forward toward ensuring equal justice for all. But this won't be our last effort. We must continue to move in partnership to build a state and society that is more equitable, more just, and leaves no one behind."

The press release states that those qualified for a pardon do not need to take any action. The Judiciary is expected to update electronic dockets to reflect the pardons in around 2 weeks. Those who are eligible for a pardon but were not included in the mass pardon, such as those whose convictions predate electronically available record formats, have to fill out an application.

Maryland Attorney General Anthony G Brown said in a statement "The enforcement of cannabis laws has disproportionately and overwhelmingly burdened communities of color. Opportunities were denied because those who were convicted faced steep obstacles to jobs, education, and housing."

"Governor Moore’s pardons will remove these barriers and enable thousands of Marylanders to lead productive lives without the impediments created by their prior convictions. I thank Governor Moore for his bold and decisive action in the name of fairness and equity," he added.

Sign in to comment


Powered by The Post Millennial CMS™ Comments

Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information