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Maryland Governor Pardons Over 175,000 Marijuana Convictions

Maryland Gpv. Wes Moore signed an executive order to issue more than 175,000 pardons for marijuana convictions Monday. The administration described the action as the largest state pardon to date. The order involved cases relating to use of paraphernalia, making Maryland the first state to take such action, the Associated Press reports. The pardons will forgive low-level marijuana possession charges for an estimated 100,000 people, said the Washington Post. Maryland legalized recreational cannabis last year under a constitutional amendment that got 67% of the vote in 2022. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis.

More than 150,000 misdemeanor convictions for simple possession of cannabis will be affected by the order, which also covers 18,000 misdemeanor convictions for use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia. The pardons reflect the number of convictions. Some individuals may have had more than one conviction pardoned through the process. The pardons will not result in anyone being released from incarceration. Courts will ensure each individual electronic docket is updated with an entry indicating the conviction has been pardoned by the governor, a process that should take about two weeks.


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