In a historic move Monday, the Maryland Governor pardoned 175,000 cannabis-related convictions.

“We know that legalization does not turn back the clock on the decades of harm that has been caused by this war on drugs… it doesn’t erase the fact that having a conviction on your record means having a harder time with everything. Everything from housing to employment to education. It doesn’t erase the fact that people who were arrested for cannabis 3 or 4 or forty years ago, still have those convictions on their records to this day,” said Gov. Wes Moore in his announcement.

The charges to be pardoned include both simple possession and paraphernalia charges.

This move comes just under a year after recreational cannabis became legal in the state.

Representatives of The Last Prisoner Project and UBalt Law’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform also spoke about the historic step toward addressing the past harm of marijuana criminalization.

“Maryland is going to use this moment to right many historical wrongs,” says Gov. Moore.

The Governor’s office did clarify that while 175,000 convictions will be pardoned, that number refers to the convictions, not the number of people receiving pardons.

State officials estimate that around 100,000 people total will be impacted by this action.

They also said that these pardons won’t release anyone from prison. Members of the Governor’s administration, there are currently no Marylanders incarcerated on only a state-level charge of simple misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

According to The Last Prisoner Project, there are 3,000 Marylanders incarcerated on federal cannabis-related charges.

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This move comes just under a year after recreational cannabis became legal in the state.”}]]  Read More  

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