HARRISBURG, Pa (WTAJ) — After calling for Pennsylvania to legalize marijuana, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is urging Pennsylvanians to apply for pardons for non-violent marijuana-related convictions.
Fetterman was recently on a 67-county tour which showed overwhelming support for legalizing adult-use marijuana.
In light of that, Governor Wolf and Lt Gov. Fetterman are calling for the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana and expungement of records for convictions of those crimes. They are also calling on legislators to pass legislation to legalize marijuana.
Fetterman said that expedited pardons applications are an “essential and immediate element of the plan.”
“Full legalization could take some time, but one thing we can do right now is alleviate the burden of small-amount, nonviolent convictions that scar the lives of otherwise productive citizens,” Fetterman said. “These people have done no harm to anyone else. They shouldn’t continue to suffer with employment and housing issues because they were convicted of doing something that most Pennsylvanians don’t even think should be illegal.”Lt. Governor John Fetterman
The Board of Pardons has created a special stream for these applications, allowing those cases to be heard more quickly.
Earlier this year, the Fetterman-led Board of Pardons waived its fee, so applying for a pardon is free.
A pardon is often the first step to applying for expungement, which occurs in the county where charges were filed because a pardon means the state has forgiven a crime. Expungement removes the conviction from an individual’s criminal record on the public domain.
Applications are available at www.bop.pa.gov.