Maryland Governor Confirms Pardon Monday of 175,000 ‘Low Level’ Pot Convictions

By The Vanguard Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – About 175,000 low-level marijuana convictions will be pardoned by the governor of Maryland, reported Reuters Sunday, quoting a Washington Post interview with Gov. Wes Moore.

Reuters said a similar mass pardon was recently accomplished in Massachusetts, and the Biden administration recently announced plans to make marijuana use a less serious crime at the federal level.

Moore told the Post he would “make the mass pardon on Monday morning. He said that the timing was meant to coincide with this week’s Juneteenth holiday, a day that marks the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans,” Reuters said.

“Black Americans have historically been more than three times as likely as white Americans to be arrested on marijuana charges, according to research from the American Civil Liberties Union,” the Reuters story cited.

“I’m ecstatic that we have a real opportunity with what I’m signing to right a lot of historical wrongs,” Moore told the Post, according to Reuters, which added, “Moore told the Post that such criminal records have been used to deny housing, employment and education, holding people and their families back long after their sentences have been served.”

Under federal law, marijuana use and possession remains illegal, noted Reuters, but quoted the National Conference of State Legislatures that maintains “24 states – including Maryland and Washington D.C. – have legalized the recreational use of marijuana under state law, while 38 states and Washington D.C. allow medical use of marijuana.”

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