Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is starting the process to pardon residents with minor, nonviolent marijuana criminal convictions.

The Democrat announced the opening of the application process Thursday, September 1, under the month-long PA Marijuana Pardon Project.

The initiative is a one-time, large-scale pardoning project for people with select minor, non-violent marijuana criminal convictions.

PennDOT photo: Pa. Governor Tim Wolf
PennDOT photo: Pa. Governor Tim Wolf
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Wolf says he has repeatedly called on the Republican-led General Assembly to support legalizing adult-use marijuana, which the legislature had failed to do.  The Governor says until the lawmakers take action, he will do anything he can to support Commonwealth residents who he says “have been adversely affected by a minor marijuana offense on their record.”

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons will accept applications now through Friday, September 20.

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, thousands of Pennsylvanians are expected to be eligible due to convictions over the past several decades, even pre-dating the inclusion of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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Pennsylvanians eligible for the chance to be pardoned are those with one or both of the following convictions: Possession of Marijuana and Marijuana, Small Amount Personal Use, both falling under Title 35, Section 780-133 of Pennsylvania penal codes.

Individuals can apply for an accelerated pardon at pa.gov/mjpardon. The Governor’s office says once a person submits their application, they will be contacted if any follow-up is needed.

Those who are not eligible to apply for a pardon because they have additional criminal convictions on their record are encourage to apply for clemency using a standard application at bop.pa.gov.

The information provided by Wolf’s office says, “While a pardon constitutes forgiveness, those whose pardons are granted will still need to petition the court of an expungement of the conviction from their record.”

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