Baltimore Judges Deny Request to Dismiss Previous Marijuana Convictions


A request by Baltimore State’s Lawyer Marilyn Mosby to dismiss practically five,000 previous situations of marijuana possession was denied by judges on Friday, according to on the web court records. On Monday, a spokeswoman for the State’s Attorney’s Workplace confirmed that the petition had been rejected by the judges.

Prosecutors had filed paperwork to dismiss situations going back to 2011, covering roughly 1,000 convictions in Circuit Court and nearly three,800 extra in District Court. The judges’ reasoning for rejecting the requests is not however clear.

Prosecutorial Policy Changed

In January, Mosby announced that her workplace would finish the prosecution of marijuana possession situations in Baltimore and would seek the dismissal of up to five,000 convictions currently on the books. Mosby cited the racial disparity in the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws as her purpose for the alter in policy.

“The statistics are damning when it comes to the disproportionate influence that the ‘War on Drugs’ has had on communities of colour,” Mosby stated. “As your state’s lawyer, I pledged to institute alter and I refuse to stand by and be a facilitator of injustice and inequity when it is clear that we can be so substantially smarter and do so substantially extra on behalf of the folks we serve.”

Additional than 90 % of the citations for minor marijuana possession have been issued to black folks in Baltimore involving 2015 and 2017.

“Even although white and black residents use marijuana at the exact same price, the laws disproportionately influence communities of colour,” Mosby added.

Collateral Harm of Pot Convictions

Olivia Naugle, a legislative coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project, applauded Mosby’s selection to in a press release.

“Decades of arresting and prosecuting folks for marijuana possession did not make Baltimore any safer, and it had a substantially disproportionate influence on communities of colour,” Naugle stated. “Countless folks have been branded with convictions and subjected to life-altering collateral consequences that trigger them extra harm than marijuana ever could. Sadly, this has continued to be the case in Baltimore City even just after decriminalization in 2014.”

Mosby agreed that convictions for marijuana possession adhere to offenders for life, saying that they make obtaining a job and qualifying for social applications such as housing and educational positive aspects hard if not not possible.

“When I ask myself: Is the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana possession generating us safer as a city?” Mosby stated, “the answer is emphatically ‘no.’”

“No a single thinks spending sources to jail folks for marijuana is a fantastic use of our restricted time and sources,” she added.

Mosby’s Response

Mosby released the following statement on Monday:

“The part that courts play in our society is to be a spot of final resort for folks who have been wronged. I am deeply disappointed that this ruling did not afford us any chance to present legal arguments and primarily eliminated the court from becoming a secure harbor for these that have been harmed by the discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws in this city.”

“My workplace is thinking about our alternatives and will pursue all avenues to make sure we continue standing up for the folks of Baltimore,” she added.


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