Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced an effort to pardon state residents of non-violent marijuana offenses, according to CBS News. People with a select number of convictions will be able to get a pardon with the simple click of a button.
Through the new Pennsylvania Marijuana Pardon Project, residents can submit an online application to appeal to have a pardon for their non-violent marijuana offenses. The report says the program will run for the month of September until the end of the governor’s term. It’s unclear if the program will continue after the new gubernatorial candidate is sworn in.
More on the new program from CBS News:
According to a press release on the project, Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons since taking office, 326 of which were part of an “expedited review for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.” This is in contrast to the 1,805 total pardons that were granted in the 15 years prior to Gov. Wolf’s time in office, the release said.
“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,” Wolf said in the release. “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.”
CBS Pittsburgh reported that those eligible for a pardon must have been convicted of either marijuana possession and personal use in a small amount. However, the Catch 22 is that only those without additional convictions on record can apply.
All around the country, many states have been moving swiftly to pass marijuana legalization, however, only a few have moved just as fast to expunge those convicted on marijuana charges. Majority of those convictions were given to Black people which is why a pardon program like this is critical. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to mend this issue on a national level, however, it’s still pending debate.