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Maryland Gov Moore to pardon 175,000 Marijuana convictions in massive executive order

Maryland’s Democratic governor, Wes Moore, is set to pardon more than 175,000 people with marijuana-related convictions on Monday in one of the nation’s most sweeping drug policy rollbacks.

Moore’s plan would apply to about 100,000 people convicted of low-level marijuana possession, which is increasingly legalized across the country for medical and recreational use.

“I’m thrilled that the bill I’m signing gives us a real chance to right many historic wrongs,” Moore said, “which is to say that if we want to achieve inclusive economic growth, we must begin to remove these barriers that continue to disproportionately fall on communities of color.”

Moore’s office said the series of pardons will coincide with the Juneteenth holiday on Wednesday.

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Maryland’s Democratic governor, Wes Moore, is set to pardon more than 175,000 people with marijuana-related convictions on Monday in one of the nation’s most sweeping drug policy rollbacks. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Maryland has fully legalized cannabis sales in the state starting in 2023, but neighboring states such as Washington, D.C. and Virginia still have some restrictions in place. Neither of the latter jurisdictions have issued amnesty for marijuana-related crimes.

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, a Democrat, praised Moore’s pardon.

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Cannabis plant

Maryland has fully legalized cannabis sales in the state starting in 2023, but neighboring states such as Washington, D.C. and Virginia still have some restrictions in place. Neither of the latter jurisdictions have issued amnesties for marijuana-related crimes. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

“The amnesty applies to anyone with a misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana or related paraphernalia, and it will undoubtedly, without question or reservation, disproportionately impact Black and brown Marylanders in a positive way,” Brown said.

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“We are being arrested and convicted at higher rates for marijuana possession and use, even though our rates of marijuana use are no different than any other category of people,” he added.

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown (Democrat) praised Moore's pardon as disproportionately helpful.

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, a Democrat, praised Moore’s pardon, saying it disproportionately helped “Black and brown” residents. (Getty Images)

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According to The Washington Post, Maryland officials clarified that the pardon would not result in people being released from prison because no one is currently incarcerated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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