Baltimore State's Attorney Moves to Vacate Marijuana Convictions

Feb 1, 2019

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's top prosecutor has filed a rarely used legal petition intended to vacate 3,778 convictions for possession of marijuana.

In an unusual "Maryland v Maryland" filing in state court, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the legal effort is necessary to "right an extraordinary wrong." The petition, if granted, would acknowledge an error of fact in the cases and wipe out the pot possession convictions.

Mosby says in the Tuesday filing that the "sordid history of marijuana prohibition lies in ethnic and racial bigotry."

She also notes that racial disparities in pot possession arrests continue to exist in majority-black Baltimore after Maryland's 2014 decriminalization of small amounts.

Mosby this week has announced she will no longer prosecute any cannabis possession cases, regardless of the quantity or an individual's criminal record.