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Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman said today that the deadline is approaching to apply for a pardon for select minor, non-violent marijuana criminal conviction as part of a one-time expedited process through the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons.
More than 1,600 people have already applied for a pardon through the PA Marijuana Pardon Project. The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is accepting applications through Friday, September 30, 2022.
"This is an opportunity for individuals who are seeking to move forward with their lives to get a second chance," Gov. Wolf said. "I encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply today."
Lieutenant Governor Fetterman said nobody's life and record should be ruined by using a plant.
"If you're living your best life, I believe in a fresh start. Imagine not being able to volunteer at your kid's school because of some stupid weed charge 20 years ago," Lt. Gov. Fetterman said. "The governor and I strongly believe in second chances."
It is estimated that thousands of individuals are eligible due to convictions over the past several decades, even pre-dating marijuana's inclusion as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
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Anyone with only the two select marijuana offenses noted below on their record is eligible to apply, and there is no limit for the age of the conviction.
Pennsylvanians eligible for the opportunity to be pardoned are those with one or both of the following convictions:
- Possession of Marijuana (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31)
- Marijuana, Small Amount Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I)
The online application for an accelerated pardon through this one-time project is available at pa.gov/mjpardon. Once a person submits their application, they will be contacted if any necessary follow-up is needed.
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.
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Governor Wolf has prioritized criminal justice reform throughout his administration and thanks to his leadership, Pennsylvania is a leader in pardon reform. Since taking office, Governor 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 Governor Wolf's term, only 1,805 pardons were granted in total.
Gov. Wolf has served for two terms as a leader consistently at work for the people of Pennsylvania. Learn more about how his Priorities for Pennsylvania have fueled the commonwealth's comeback, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.
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