Dawn Blagrove commented on Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s decision to pardon more than 175,000 low-level marijuana convictions:

“It’s also common sense,” Blagrove told NC Newsline this week. “It’s time that we really allow our laws to catch up with the morals and values of American society as it relates to marijuana. Such pardons could be a game-changer for people struggling to break free of marijuana misdemeanor charges,” Blagrove said.

“Pardoning those convictions, making them go away, will literally give a new lease on life for anyone who has one of these marijuana convictions on their record,” Blagrove said. “It will allow them to not have to worry about checking the box on an employment application, not have to worry about disclosing a criminal record if they’re trying to get housing, and certainly not serve as a barrier to getting financial aid for college or any number of things.”

Blagrove believes that what happened in Maryland should be a model for the rest of the nation.

“Now that we are in a place as a nation where marijuana is no longer illegal in a lot of states, it’s time for the albatross of criminal convictions about marijuana to be removed from the necks of so many Black folks across the country who have been convicted of low-level marijuana charges,” Blagrove said.

She called on Gov. Roy Cooper to take the lead in removing low-level marijuana convictions from North Carolina residents’ records before he leaves office in December.

“This is a flashpoint where Gov. Roy Cooper could use the power of the governor’s office to create a really lasting legacy for the people of North Carolina by pardoning those folks who have [low-level] marijuana convictions,” Blagrove said.

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