Massachusetts Gov. Issues Sweeping Cannabis Possession Pardons

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey has announced her plan to pardon all state-issued misdemeanor cannabis possession convictions, a move aligned with national efforts to address past injustices of cannabis criminalization, which requires the Governor’s Council’s approval to take immediate effect.

Full story after the jump.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) announced Wednesday she is moving to pardon all misdemeanor cannabis possession convictions issued by the state; the pardon action first requires approval from the Governor’s Council, then will take immediate effect.

The pardons will cover all Massachusetts misdemeanor cannabis convictions before March 13, 2024.

Most people will not need to take any action for the pardons to take effect, the governor said.

“Massachusetts decriminalized possession for personal use back in 2008, legalized it in 2016, yet thousands of people are still living with a conviction on their records – a conviction that may be a barrier to jobs, getting housing, even getting an education.” — Healey, via the Associated Press

“Nobody should face barriers to getting a job, housing or an education because of an old misdemeanor marijuana conviction that they would not be charged for today,” Healey said in a press release. “We’re taking this nation-leading action as part of our commitment to using the clemency process to advance fairness and equity in our criminal justice system.”

President Biden (D) in 2022 pardoned all low-level federal cannabis possession convictions; notably, Biden’s presidential pardons did not lead to the release of anyone serving prison time for a cannabis conviction. The president also called on governors to take similar action at the state level, and he awarded additional pardons late last year.

“We’re grateful for President Biden’s leadership on this at the federal level and proud to answer his call to take action in the states,” Gov. Healey said.

Healey’s pardoning action is supported by Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D), and Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D).

The Massachusetts state government hosts an FAQ for additional details.

Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe

Have an additional perspective to share? Send us a message to let us know, and if your comment is chosen by our editors it could be featured here.


Ganjapreneur is made possible by our partners:

Latest Cannabis News

View all news Get email updates

Featured Business Profiles

Create a profile View all categories

From Our Partners