Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Tuesday that the city will no longer prosecute cases related to marijuana possession, regardless of quantity or criminal record. Mosby is also seeking to vacate nearly 5,000 cases regarding marijuana convictions, dating back to 2011.
“We need to get serious about prioritizing what actually makes us safe, and no one who is serious about public safety can honestly say that spending resources to jail people for marijuana use is a smart way to use our limited time and money,” Mosby said in a statement. The attorney condemned the so-called “War on Drugs,” referring to prosecutions for possession of marijuana as an “ongoing moral failure.”
The move is a hopeful step in the direction of a more equitable criminal justice system. “The statistics are damning when it comes to the disproportionate impact that the war on drugs has had on communities of color,” Mosby added.
Mosby’s office will shift its attention instead to prosecuting dealers and traffickers. “We need leaders here in Baltimore who are actively working toward a vision of safety that makes all of us more secure in our great city,” Mosby continued. “That can’t happen when we’re focused on marijuana possession cases instead of solving and prosecuting more murders.”