Maryland Governor Wes Moore Pardons 175,000 Marijuana Convictions

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Maryland governor Wes Moore is pardoning 175,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Moore announced that he was making the mass pardon on Monday, June 17, ahead of Juneteenth observances.

The pardons will affect roughly 100,000 people charged with low-level marijuana possession.

Moore described the mass pardon as a “far-reaching and aggressive” executive action amid the growing legalization of marijuana.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Americans are three times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than their white counterparts. Moore said criminal records from marijuana charges have been used to deny housing, employment, and education to people even after their sentences have been served

“I’m ecstatic that we have a real opportunity with what I’m signing to right a lot of historical wrongs,” Moore said. “If you want to be able to create inclusive economic growth, it means you have to start removing these barriers that continue to disproportionately sit on communities of color.”

Maryland attorney general Anthony Brown said in a statement that the pardons were “certainly long overdue as a nation” and “a racial equity issue”.

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