The Latest: Police to continue making pot possession arrests
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on decision by Baltimore’s top prosecutor to cease prosecution of any marijuana possession cases (all times local):
Baltimore’s acting police leader says officers will continue making arrests for pot possession, hours after the city’s top prosecutor says her office will no longer prosecute such cases.
Acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Tuesday that Baltimore’s officers will keep making arrests for illegal marijuana possession under the law. He says they will only stop doing so if Maryland’s legislature ever changes the law to make all possession legal.
Maryland’s governor signed legislation in 2014 that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis. But marijuana possession above small amounts remains illegal in Maryland.
Asked what she would do if police presented her with a pot possession arrest in coming days, Mosby says her office would “release them without charges.”
The state’s attorney in Baltimore says her office will no longer prosecute any marijuana possession cases, regardless of the quantity of the drug or an individual’s prior criminal record.
Marilyn Mosby says pot possession cases have no public safety value, waste money, and disproportionately impact communities of color. She says “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 says her office will still go after dealers and traffickers by prosecuting marijuana distribution cases.
But she says her office is seeking to vacate some 5,000 prior marijuana possession convictions dating to 2011. She says jailing people for marijuana possession is an “ongoing moral failure.”