Experts and community leaders are discussing efforts being made to remove convictions of minor marijuana use from records, designed to give people a second chance.
Briaunna Malone joins was live with more on the project and how it will make an impact in the community.
The Marijuana Pardon Project will act as a form of forgiveness in expunging minor marijuana convictions, but is only going on for a limited time.
The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is launching a one-time, large-scale initiative that will pardon minor marijuana crimes from records.
The project is only for the month of September, so people still have two weeks left to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We believe that no one should be denied employment, or denied housing, or prevented from volunteering at their kids school because of a marijuana conviction,” said Tim George, attorney, Purchase, George, and Murphey.
The application process is online and typically takes up to 18 months to be approved. Under the Marijuana Pardon Project, applications will be reviewed by December with help from Mercyhurst University.
“We are a hub of information as well as help individuals with the intake process, eligibility requirements, and actually matching a person with a pardon coach to help with completing the application itself,” said Maria Garase, associate dean, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Mercyhurst University.
Attorney Tim George says eligible applicants must meet the following requirements in order to have the convictions removed from their records.
“This program is for folks who entered pleas to two particular marijuana offenses or they were convicted at trial of marijuana offenses,” said George.
Community leaders of local churches are asking for spiritual leaders in Erie to support the project as it relates to their teachings of conviction and forgiveness.
“We are in the business of telling people that god forgives us and this is a forgiveness program. All of us have fallen short somewhere along in life, and all of us have not been sent to jail, thank god,” said Reverend Charles Mock, local clergy, Community Missionary Baptist Church. “This is an opportunity to let others know that grace and forgiveness are possible through the governor’s pardon project.”
Click here for more information on the application and instructions for the Marijuana Pardon Project.