Maryland Governor Says He Will Dismiss 175,000 Marijuana Convictions

( – The Governor of Maryland has promised to issue pardons for one hundred and seventy-five thousand marijuana convictions at the low level. Wes Moore, Maryland Governor, said in an interview that the timing of these pardons would coincide with the Juneteenth holiday.

Moore said that his actions were the “most far-reaching and aggressive” executive action among officials who have tried to unwind the growing legislation of marijuana. According to research from the American Civil Liberties Union, black Americans have been three times more likely than white Americans to get arrested on marijuana charges. Moore stressed that these criminal records have had a role in the denial of housing, employment, and education, which can hold families back.

Says Moore, “I’m ecstatic that we have a real opportunity with what I’m signing to right a lot of historical wrongs.” He continued, “If you want to be able to create inclusive economic growth, it means you have to start removing these barriers that continue to disproportionately sit on communities of color.”

Anthony Brown, Maryland’s attorney general, said that these pardons are “certainly long overdue as a nation” and “a racial equity issue.” This comes after Joe Biden issued pardons in recent years and also took steps to make marijuana use less of a serious crime federally. However, these pardons from Moore are not going to result in anyone being released from prison.

Marijuana possession and use is still illegal federally, but twenty-four states legalized recreational use under state law and thirty-eight states legalized medical marijuana use.

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