A Pennsylvania resident previously arrested for cannabis is now on the road to an acquittal record.
Governor Tom Wolfe and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, both Democrats, announced last week The creation of the “PA Marijuana Pardon Project” was billed as “an effort to expeditiously pardon thousands of Pennsylvanians from minor, non-violent marijuana-related convictions.”
“This amnesty project has the potential to open the door to thousands of Pennsylvanians: college graduates looking to kick off their careers, grandparents looking to accompany school trips, and people seeking the help they need. Like the Pennsylvanians who weren’t killed, now’s your chance.” Wolf said in Friday’s announcement.
The governor’s office said, “Pennsylvanians who are eligible for a pardon are those who hold one or both of the following beliefs:” and “Marijuana, Small Amounts of Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I).”
Individuals interested in applying to the program must submit their application online from September 1 through September 30.
“The program timeline states that applicants will be notified by October 13 whether they will be subject to hearings. In mid-December, the Amnesty Commission will vote on individual cases at hearings. After the end of , a recommendation to apply for a pardon issued by Wolfe before he resigned in January will be made to Wolfe.” Wolf’s office said in a press release on Friday.
Wolfe and Fetterman, who are running for Senate in Pennsylvania this year, said they were taking action “in the absence of legislative action by the Republican-controlled Congress on legalization.”
Fetterman said in a press release, “Given that most of us don’t even think this should be illegal, the time-honored, non-violent weed accusations can be used to stop people from working, housing, or children. No one should be turned down from volunteering at their school.”
Fetterman, who is running against Republican candidate Mehmet Oz (aka “Dr. Oz”) in the Senate race, is a vocal advocate for marijuana legalization.
Last week, ahead of President Biden’s Labor Day visit to Pittsburgh, Fetterman urged the White House to take action on cannabis reform.
“It’s been a long time since we finally decriminalized marijuana,” Fetterman said in a statement. I’d like to see the president do this before .It’s just common sense and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalization of marijuana.”
That position stands in stark contrast to Oz, who said he was against cannabis legalization and ridiculed Fetterman’s pot-friendly policies in his campaign.
In an ad released last month, the Oz campaign denounced Fetterman’s stance on marijuana and depicted a bonbon coming out of the Democratic candidate’s head.
“There aren’t enough Pennsylvanians to work in Pennsylvania,” says Oz Said In an interview with Newsmax in May, he said, “I don’t think giving pot to them to stay home is the ideal move. We need to get Pennsylvanians back to work and give them their mojo.” No. I don’t want marijuana to get in the way of that.”
Fetterman, on the other hand, is not clear on this issue.
“We don’t want to hear bulls in Dr. Oz’s campaign trying to confuse decriminalization of marijuana with serious harmful crimes,” says Fetterman. Said in a statement quoted by Philadelphia Inquirer“Should I believe that he and none of his staff have ever used marijuana?
Proponents of cannabis reform praised Wolfe and Fetterman’s amnesty program.
Chris Goldstein, NORML’s regional organizer for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, said in a press release last week, “This is an indication that Governor Wolfe and Lt. Fetterman are doing all they can from the Secretariat on this matter. is a good example.