Maryland Governor Vetoes Bill that Would Have Kept Cannabis Convictions Private
Governor Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland vetoed a bill yesterday that would have kept the records of people with low-level marijuana convictions from being publicized on the state’s database. According to a post on Marijuana Moment, Maryland lawmakers passed the bill in March and sent it to the Governor for his signature. If enacted, the bill would have prevented the “Maryland Judiciary Case Search from in any way referring to the existence of a certain case in which possession of marijuana is the only charge in the case and the charge was disposed,” according to the article.
The bill, which originally called for expungements of low-level marijuana offenses, was scaled back in the legislature to simply shield such convictions from being found in a search of the state’s database. According to the article, Governor Hogan did not necessarily oppose the content of the bill but delivered the veto as retaliation for MD lawmakers failing to pass a separate criminal justice proposal he had previously pushed for.
If signed into law, the bill would have benefitted about 200,000 Maryland residents who have low-level cannabis convictions and have not petitioned the courts to have their records sealed.