Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

In a historic move on Monday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed an executive order erasing more than 175,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

It is one of the largest state-issued pardons in United States history.

“We’ll be clear: This is just a step — this is not a conclusion,” Moore, a Democrat, told a reporter on Monday morning. “You have to be able to right these wrongs in order for the right steps to be made.”

Photo may have been deleted
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Moore said people were wrongly convicted in the war on drugs. He added that Monday’s pardons were “a hard-fought victory” for low-level lawbreakers.

“Undoing decades of harm cannot happen in a day, but we’re going to keep up the work, we’re going to keep up the pace and were going to do it together. This is about recognizing our collective, shared humanity,” he said. “This is about how changing how both government and society view those who have been walled-off from opportunity because of broken and uneven policies.”

The pardons come after Maryland residents voted overwhelmingly to approve recreational use cannabis for adults during the 2022 general election. Marijuana officially became legalized in the state on July 1, 2023.

X/Twitter reacted to the news on Monday.