(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman have announced efforts to pardon Pennsylvanians with certain minor, non-violent marijuana criminal convictions.
During the month of September, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons will accept applications for the PA Marijuana Pardon Project (Sept. 1-30).
“I have repeatedly called on our Republican-led General Assembly to support the legalization of adult-use marijuana, but they’ve yet to meet this call for action from myself and Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “Until they do, I am committed to doing everything in my power to support Pennsylvanians who have been adversely affected by a minor marijuana offense on their record.
“This pardon project has the potential to open the door for thousands of Pennsylvanians – the college grad looking to start their career, the grandparent who’s been wanting chaperone a field trip, or any Pennsylvanian who’s been told ‘no’ for much needed assistance. Now’s your chance,” said Gov. Wolf.
An estimated thousands of Pennsylvanians will be eligible. It is free to apply online.
“Nobody should be turned down for a job, housing, or volunteering at your child’s school because of some old nonviolent weed charge, especially given that most of us don’t even think this should be illegal,” said Lt. Gov. Fetterman.
Pennsylvanians are eligible to be pardoned if they have been convicted of one or both of the following:
- Possession of Marijuana (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31)
- Marijuana, Small Amount Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I)
Those who are not eligible to apply for a pardon through this project because they have additional criminal convictions on their record are encouraged to apply for clemency using a standard application available at bop.pa.gov. While a pardon constitutes complete forgiveness, those whose pardons are granted will still need to petition the court for an expungement of the conviction from their record.
Since taking office, Gov. Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons, 326 of those were part of an expedited review for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. In the 15 years prior to Gov. Wolf’s term, only 1,805 pardons were granted in total.