Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman announced on Thursday a one-time, large-scale pardoning project for people with select minor, non-violent cannabis criminal convictions. The Democrats said the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is accepting applications for the PA Marijuana Pardon Project through the end of the month.
Eligible convictions under the program include possession of cannabis and possession of a small amount for personal use.
In a statement, Wolf said he has “repeatedly” called on the state’s Republican-led General Assembly to legalize cannabis for adult use but they’ve not met the call for action.
“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 to chaperone a field trip, or any Pennsylvanian who’s been told ‘no’ for much needed assistance. Now’s your chance.” — Wolf in a press release
Fetterman, who is running for Senate against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz – who rose to fame as a daytime television host – said that “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 think this should be illegal,” he said.
It is estimated that thousands of Pennsylvanians are eligible due to convictions over the past several decades, even pre-dating cannabis’ inclusion as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Since taking office, Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons, the governor’s office said, and of those, 326 were part of an expedited review for nonviolent cannabis-related offenses. In the 15 years prior to Wolf’s term, only 1,805 pardons were granted in total.
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