Declaring that “the debate over whether we should legalize marijuana is essentially over,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress as part of the first-ever hearing to discuss Cannabis legalization.
“The question is no longer if or even when we legalize marijuana nationally,” Mosby said. “The question policy makers must grapple with is: How should we legalize marijuana?”
According to Mosby, any legislative proposal must make sure it “repairs the damage done by marijuana prohibition and creates opportunities for those communities most adversely impacted.”
“I have seen first-hand the damage done by marijuana enforcement,” Mosby wrote. “Black people and their communities suffer the brunt of marijuana arrests despite studies showing that blacks and whites use marijuana at the same rate.”
For those reasons, on January 29, Mosby’s office became one of the first in the country to decline to prosecute marijuana possession cases regardless of the weight involved, or the holder’s criminal history. Unfortunately, the courts denied her request to right these past wrongs. “So for now, members of our community are living with the scarlet letter of a criminal record for an offense the city no longer prosecutes,” Mosby wrote.