Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Tuesday that marijuana possession cases in the city will no longer be prosecuted. The city’s lead prosecutor also said that she plans to vacate as many as 5,000 previous convictions, according to media reports. Mosby said that the change in policy is in part a reaction to the racial disparity prevalent in the prosecution of cannabis offenses.
“The statistics are damning when it comes to the disproportionate impact that the ‘War on Drugs’ has had on communities of color,” Mosby said. “As your state’s attorney, I pledged to institute change and I refuse to stand by and be a facilitator of injustice and inequity when it is clear that we can be so much smarter and do so much more on behalf of the people we serve.”
More than 90 percent of the citations for minor marijuana possession were issued to black people in Baltimore between 2015 and 2017.
“Even though white and black residents use marijuana at the same rate, the laws disproportionately impact communities of color,” Mosby added.
Under the new policy, Mosby’s office will not prosecute marijuana possession cases, regardless of the quantity, unless there is evidence of intent