Pa. Governor Accepting Cannabis Pardon Requests Through Sept.

In Brief: Pa. Governor Accepting Cannabis Pardon Requests in Sept.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) won’t be the governor for much longer. Term limits guaranteed that the gubernatorial race wouldn’t include an incumbent. However, he is trying to get in some last goals before he goes.

One of those goals is pardoning thousands of Pennsylvanians convicted of simple cannabis possession. Wolf’s office issued a press release announcing the project yesterday.

“I have repeatedly called on our Republican-led General Assembly to support the legalization of adult-use marijuana,” Wolf said in a statement, “but they’ve yet to meet this call for action from myself and Pennsylvanians.” He went on to say that he would do everything in his power to “support Pennsylvanians who have been adversely affected by a minor marijuana offense on their record.”

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Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman joined Gov. Wolf in announcing the PA Marijuana Pardon Program.

“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,” Lt. Gov. Fetterman said.

Fetterman has been a vocal supporter of cannabis legalization, even going on a tour around the state to discuss it with constituents. He is currently leading former TV personality Mehmet Oz (R) in the polls to replace the retiring Pat Toomey as U.S. Senate. His lead is as large as 8 percentage points with two months before election, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Fetterman referred to cannabis legalization as the “common sense approach.”

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Only people with convictions for simple cannabis possession alone are eligible. The website for the project point people with other convictions toward how to apply for clemency instead. Thousands of Pennsylvanians are eligible to benefit from the pardon program, according to the press release.

While a pardon may be granted under this expedited program, the person would still need to petition the court for expungement if they want their criminal records cleared. According to the release, Gov. Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons since taking office. This included 326 expedited cannabis-related pardons.

To find out if they qualify or to learn more, Pennsylvanians can go to pa.gov/mjpardon.