Maryland Governor Issues Mass Pardons for 175,000 Individuals With Marijuana Convictions


Maryland Governor Wes Moore (D-MD) is set to issue pardons to over 175,000 individuals with marijuana-related convictions on Monday. This move comes less than two years after Maryland voters legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

The pardons, issued by Moore’s administration, will specifically address simple possession of cannabis convictions, aiming to help those with low-level criminal offenses related to the drug. The governor’s office stated that the pardons are part of their commitment to promoting social equity and ensuring fair and equitable justice administration.

According to the governor’s office, approximately 25% of the pardons will be from Baltimore, and none of the actions will result in anyone’s release from incarceration. The state will update the docket for those receiving the pardon within two weeks of the action.

Moore emphasized that his move is part of his efforts to remove barriers faced by black and brown people. In an interview with the Washington Post, Moore expressed his excitement about the opportunity to rectify historical wrongs and stated that removing these barriers is essential for creating inclusive economic growth.

Maryland voters had previously elected to legalize recreational marijuana in 2022, coinciding with Moore’s election as governor. The drug became legal in the state on July 1, 2023. The Biden administration had also taken action to pardon those arrested, prosecuted, or convicted on federal charges for marijuana use last year, encouraging governors to follow suit.

Jack Birle
Jack Birle
Jack Birle is a breaking news reporter. A 2022 graduate of Villanova University with majors in communication and political science, he has previous journalism experience with the Center Square and as a fellow with the National Journalism Center. He was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Southern California.

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