Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Maryland governor announces pardons of more than 175,000 marijuana convictions

By 37ci3 Jun17,2024

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Monday signed an executive order pardoning more than 175,000 marijuana convicts, the governor’s office said.

Moore signed the order in Annapolis with state Attorney General Anthony Brown in attendance.

About 100,000 people will be affected by the pardons, the governor’s office said in a press release Monday morning.

The pardons include more than 150,000 felony convictions for simple possession and more than 18,000 misdemeanor convictions for drug use or possession, his office said.

According to the information provided by the governor’s office, the amnesties reflect the number of convicted persons, and some persons had multiple convictions pardoned by executive order.

The executive order makes Maryland the first state in the U.S. to issue a mass amnesty for cannabis convictions, the governor’s office said. State Legalized marijuana in 2023 after transition constitutional amendment during the state’s 2022 legislative session.

“We cannot celebrate the benefits of legalization unless we address the consequences of criminalization,” Moore said Monday when announcing the executive order. “So I want to be clear: When it comes to cannabis, it’s incredibly important to have one of the best and fairest legal markets in the country. But that must go hand in hand with pardoning past behavior. Maryland will lead by example.”

In a statement, the Moore administration said it is “committed to promoting social equity and ensuring the fair and just administration of justice. Because the use and possession of marijuana is no longer illegal in the state, Marylanders should not continue to face barriers to residency, employment or education based on convictions for conduct that is no longer illegal.” opportunities.”

Moore’s office said the pardons would not result in the release of those incarcerated and that the pardons were completed through available state resources.

After Moore signs the executive order, the state court will update each individual electronic document with an entry indicating that the marijuana conviction was pardoned by the governor, a process that could take about two weeks, his office said.

The governor’s office said Moore’s order directs his administration’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to conduct a process to show that a person should be pardoned because of a criminal record, which could take about 10 months to complete.

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By 37ci3

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