Maryland Governor to Erase 175,000 Marijuana Convictions

Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland was expected to sign an executive order on Monday morning that would wipe out more than 175,000 convictions related to marijuana use.

The governor told The Washington Post in an interview published on Sunday that he planned to issue the mass pardon, which would probably affect about 100,000 people convicted of low-level possession charges. Some have multiple convictions.

He said the move was timed to coincide with the Juneteenth holiday, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War that has been celebrated by Black people since the late 1800s. President Biden signed a bill in 2021 making June 19 a federal holiday. Historically, a disproportionate number of people convicted of marijuana possession have been Black.

Maryland legalized the use of recreational marijuana by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2022, and decriminalized the possessions of small amounts meant for personal use. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, according to The Associated Press.

Maryland joins the Biden administration, nine other states and many cities where officials have taken similar actions to pardon people convicted of low-level marijuana possession, according to a report from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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