Maryland Governor Wes Moore Signs Historic Cannabis Executive Order Using Last Prisoner Project’s Pen to Right History

Article Contributed by Press Here Publicity | Published on Monday, June 17, 2024

Today, as people across the country continue to suffer consequences of cannabis criminalization even in states where it is now legal, we celebrate a historic step toward ending this hypocrisy in Maryland. Alongside justice advocacy organizations, including Last Prisoner Project (LPP), Governor Wes Moore (D-Maryland) has signed an executive order granting the largest state cannabis pardon to date.

LPP applauds Gov. Moore and his administration’s actions to rectify racial disparities caused by cannabis prohibition, including this historic pardon that goes further than any previous cannabis clemency grant by including cannabis paraphernalia charges, in addition to possession charges. Together, more than 175,000 convictions will be pardoned.

Symbolically, Governor Moore has granted these pardons using LPP’s “Pen to Right History” – a pen that loved ones of people impacted by cannabis incarceration around the country have used to write letters to elected officials asking for justice. By using the pen, Gov. Moore joins LPP and all of their constituents in challenging other governors and leaders across the country to take up this “Pen to Right History” in their own states.

This action follows President Biden's continued call on governors to grant cannabis clemency after he pardoned an estimated 13,000 people for simple possession. LPP has amplified this call through their Pardons to Progress campaign that has sent tens of thousands of letters to governors across the United States. Having answered the call today, Governor Moore brings Maryland forward as a champion of cannabis justice, as evident in their State of Cannabis Justice Report.

Today marks another step toward reparative justice and to undoing the harms of the War on Drugs. These pardons will provide much needed relief for individuals looking for housing, employment, and educational opportunities. They will also help end the racial disparities caused by years of over enforcement as Black people have been arrested at twice the rate of their white counterparts in Maryland.

Last Prisoner Project looks forward to continuing to work with the governor's office, legislature, and judicial and state agencies to ensure all records are fully expunged and no remains in prison for cannabis in Maryland. There is also more to be done at the federal level for the over 3,000 individuals, including Marylanders like Jonathan Wall, who are still serving time for victimless cannabis offenses.

You can urge the President and your governor to grant cannabis clemency by sending a letter here. To learn more about LPP's work in Maryland, please visit: lastprisonerproject.org/maryland.

For those eligible, no action is needed to receive a pardon and you can check the status of your pardon online. For full record removal via expungement, LPP encourages individuals to learn more here.

ABOUT LAST PRISONER PROJECT

The Last Prisoner Project is dedicated to freeing those incarcerated due to the War on Drugs, reuniting their families, and helping them rebuild their lives. As laws change, there remains a fundamental injustice for individuals whose conviction is no longer a crime. We work to repair these harms through legal intervention, constituent support, direct advocacy, and policy change.

Visit www.lastprisonerproject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to learn more.

For more information on Last Prisoner Project, please contact:

PRESS HERE

Linda Carbone & Katie Leggett

[email protected]

[email protected]

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