Maryland pardons 175,000 people for cannabis convictions

By means of Sam Cabral, BBC News, Washington

Getty Images Maryland Governor Wes MooreGetty Images

Moore said the pardon would 'correct many historical wrongs'

Maryland's governor has pardoned more than 175,000 people convicted of cannabis crimes in an effort to address “decades of damage caused by the war on drugs.”

Wes Moore said his executive order marked “the most sweeping state-level pardon in American history” and “the largest such action in our nation's history.”

“Maryland is going to use this moment to right many historical wrongs,” he added.

Cannabis has been legal in Maryland for almost a year, and more than half of all Americans now live in a state where cannabis is legal.

The federal government is also reclassifying the drug, and President Joe Biden has twice issued mass pardons to U.S. citizens charged with possession.

Moore, 45, a rising star in the Democratic Party, said the state has rolled out “one of the best and most fair legal markets in the country” since the drug was legalized in a referendum.

“Legalization does not turn back the clock on decades of damage caused by the war on drugs,” he said Monday in the capital of Annapolis.

“We cannot celebrate the benefits of legalization if we do not address the consequences of criminalization.”

A 2022 state report found that while white Marylanders use cannabis more often than their black counterparts, black Marylanders were more than twice as likely to be arrested on possession charges before legalization.

One in three state residents is black. However, state data show that more than two in three men in prison are black.

Attorney General Anthony Brown said this “long overdue” step would effectively undo the “modern shackles” of racial bias in cannabis oversight.

grey placeholderGetty Images A cannabis dispensary in MarylandGetty Images

Cannabis has been legal for recreational use in Maryland since last year

The pardon will forgive any low-level or misdemeanor cannabis possession charges recorded in the state's electronic court records.

The order will also pardon any low-level charges related to the use or possession of cannabis, making Maryland the first state to pardon such offenses, state officials said.

Those with older convictions stored on paper can apply for a pardon. The pardon will also apply to people who are no longer alive.

None of the people included in Monday's executive order are in jail. However, many with convictions have been denied housing, employment and educational opportunities based on their criminal records.

Federal, state, and local leaders in the U.S. have the power to pardon citizens convicted of crimes, restoring some or all of the rights they may have lost.

Over the past five years, people have been into… at least nine states have been pardoned for low-level cannabis convictions.

But while pardons offer forgiveness for past crimes, they do not necessarily amount to sealing or expunging a criminal record.

According to the Washington Post, past convictions will be removed from criminal background check databases within 10 months but will remain in public court records unless a request for expungement is filed.

Related Posts

  • World
  • July 20, 2024
  • 2 views
  • 3 minutes Read
Cash Yields 5% and Many Americans Are Still Missing Out

Today’s high interest rates have pushed up borrowing costs for consumers, but there’s a silver lining for savers: Their idle cash can generate big income — if they can find…

  • World
  • July 19, 2024
  • 2 views
  • 3 minutes Read
Chinese make their own cooking oil after scandal raises concerns

A customer walks past the shelves of cooking oil at a supermarket in the city of Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province. Feature China | Future Publication | Getty Images A…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

As the Paris Games approach, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and others cheer on the women's sports event

  • July 20, 2024
As the Paris Games approach, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and others cheer on the women's sports event

Cash Yields 5% and Many Americans Are Still Missing Out

  • July 20, 2024
Cash Yields 5% and Many Americans Are Still Missing Out

History of US Soccer at the Olympics: USWNT Success Defines Them, USMNT Returns After 16 Years

  • July 19, 2024
History of US Soccer at the Olympics: USWNT Success Defines Them, USMNT Returns After 16 Years

Chinese make their own cooking oil after scandal raises concerns

  • July 19, 2024
Chinese make their own cooking oil after scandal raises concerns

Connecting an antenna to a TV: watch movies, series and sports for free

  • July 19, 2024
Connecting an antenna to a TV: watch movies, series and sports for free

A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing and Reading Pleasure: NPR

  • July 19, 2024
A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing and Reading Pleasure: NPR

What You Need to Know About Airline Refunds and Delays

  • July 19, 2024
What You Need to Know About Airline Refunds and Delays

NFL kickoff rules for 2024 could create excitement…and chaos: 'It's going to be a show'

  • July 19, 2024
NFL kickoff rules for 2024 could create excitement…and chaos: 'It's going to be a show'

European markets: open to closed

  • July 19, 2024
European markets: open to closed

Investors are betting on the 'Trump trade'. Here's what it means.

  • July 19, 2024
Investors are betting on the 'Trump trade'. Here's what it means.

Scientists find new target for RSV drug

  • July 19, 2024
Scientists find new target for RSV drug