Governor Tom Wolf signs 310 pardons for non-violent marijuana-related offenses

Regional News

FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2020, file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa., regarding the counting of ballots in the 2020 general election. Facing a deep, pandemic-inflicted budget deficit, Gov. Wolf will ask lawmakers for billions of dollars funded by higher taxes on Pennsylvania’s huge natural gas industry for workforce development and employment assistance to help the state recover. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Late last week, Governor Tom Wolf signed 310 pardons, 69 of which were part of the Expedited Review Program for Non-Violent Marijuana-Related Offenses, according to a release.

The program was introduced in late 2019 by the Board of Pardons (BOP) and authorized by Lt. Governor John Fetterman. Its goal is to speed up the pardons’ application process for people with non-violent marijuana possession or paraphernalia convictions.

“These pardons will give these 310 people a chance to put the conviction behind them, offering them more opportunities as they build careers, buy homes and move on with their lives free of this burden,” Wolf said. “In particular, the nonviolent marijuana convictions-associated pardons have been expedited to make what was a years-long process now a matter of months.”

According to the release, since being in office, Wolf has signed 1,559 pardons, more than any other governor in more than 20 years.

“The PA BOP has recently broken with administrative tradition by creating an expedited review process for certain pardon applicants convicted of low-level offenses,” Brandon Flood, secretary of the BOP, said. “This has initially manifested itself in the form of BOP’s Expedited Review Program for Non-Violent Marijuana-Related Offenses. However, given the success of this program, BOP will soon be expanding this program to include other low-level, non-violent/non-sexual offenses.”

Flood said that BOP is also actively working with the governor’s office to develop a more streamlined review process for both commutation applicants and certain types of pardon applicants whose applications are recommended by BOP to the governor.

Pardon applications are available at the BOP’s website.

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