Baltimore no longer prosecuting marijuana possession

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Baltimore No Longer Prosecuting People For Marijuana Possession

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Baltimore will no longer prosecute people for possessing marijuana, regardless of quantity or the person’s criminal history, the state attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

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At a news conference, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby also asked the courts to vacate nearly 5,000 cases of marijuana possession, The Baltimore Sun reported. Mosby filed a court motion Tuesday morning to vacate marijuana-related convictions since 2011, WJZ reported.

“When I ask myself: Is the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana possession making us safer as a city The answer is emphatically ‘no,’” Mosby said at a news conference.

Maryland decriminalized marijuana possession of up to 10 grams in 2014, The Sun reported.

Mosby’s action mirrors those of district attorneys in Philadelphia and Manhattan who have either scaled back on marijuana prosecutions or eliminated them altogether, the newspaper reported.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she supported Mosby's move, but urged caution, The Sun reported.

“But at the same time, we also need to understand that those who deal illegal substances fuel criminality in our neighborhoods which leads to violence,” Pugh told the newspaper.

The Maryland ACLU said it supported Mosby's decision, WJZ reported.

“This is a groundbreaking decision in the city where people will no longer be jailed or prosecuted for possession of marijuana,” Dana Vickers, the executive director of the Maryland ACLU, told the television station.

In a statement, Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said his department will still make arrests.

“Baltimore Police will continue to make arrests for illegal marijuana possession unless and until the state legislature changes the law regarding marijuana possession,” Tuggle said.