Remove Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Related Offenses 2024

Act Now

Despite marijuana being decriminalized, legalized, or remaining illegal, disparate arrest rates between Black and white people shamefully continue. In some states where marijuana was legalized, disturbingly, racial disparities remained or even got worse.

In Virginia, Black adults still account for nearly 60 percent of marijuana related cases even though they are only 20 percent of the population. In D.C., almost everyone arrested for marijuana charges is Black, despite only making up 45 percent of the city’s population.

Decriminalization was never enough.

Put an end to criminal penalties for marijuana related offenses. Urge your legislators to vote “Yes” on HB 441/SB 619.

Message Recipients:
House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Members

Marijuana decriminalization was never enough. Tell legislators to vote yes on HB 441/SB 619
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Your Message
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Vote “Yes” on HB 441/SB 619 to remove criminal penalties for marijuana
Dear Maryland legislator,

Last year, my community came together and voted overwhelmingly to approve a referendum to end the criminalization of recreational use of marijuana. Marijuana related offenses, such as possession with intent to distribute and possession of more than the civil use amount (2.5 ounces), can still result in misdemeanor convictions. I urge you, as your constituent, to pass a bill that would bring these charges down from a misdemeanor to a civil offense, subject to citations and civil fines, rather than imprisonment

Our state has a long and continuing pattern of disproportionately arresting and targeting Black and Brown people for marijuana enforcement. There is clear evidence that shows Black people in Maryland are three times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession. If you do not act, Black people will continue to bear the brunt of criminal penalties despite the broader legalization. Black and white people use marijuana at the same rates, but disparate arrest rates between Black and white people still exist.

Vote “Yes” on HB 441/SB 619.


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