The Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman of the state of Pennsylvania have initiated a program where persons who are convicted of minor marijuana may entertain hopes of being pardoned. The program is specifically designed for persons who have been charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use.
The Governor stated in a Press Release, made on the 1st September, that he had made numerous request to the General Assembly, which is led by the Republicans, to ensure the legalization of adult use of marijuana, however seeing as they have not yet done anything, he is committed to using the powers of his office to ensuring that support for residents of the state who have had their record stained because of the marijuana.
This program has been received with a resounding welcome as it spells a number of new opportunities for residents from college graduates who are seeking for opportunities to start their careers, grandparents who have been desirous of chaperoning a field trip among others. The program does not have an age limit and it is a one time program scheduled to end on the 30th of September, 2022. The Lieutenant Governor on his part said that no one should be denied certain basic entitlements such as a job, housing or even the opportunity to volunteer at your kid’s school because of a crime for which the majority of persons don't even think should be illegal anymore.
Application for the pardon was done on the Pennsylvania state website, and for persons who are not eligible to apply for the pardon, because of an additional conviction not stipulated under the program, they are advised to apply for Clemency. Irrespective of the fact that the pardon came from the Governor and despite the fact that it grants the offender complete forgiveness, the offender is still required to approach the court to expunge the criminal offences.
Republicans have described the move as one that is meant to promote the Governor’s legacy and also help increase the chances of the Lieutenant Governor, they further classified their action as one taken without regard for the due processes of the legislature and the judicial processes, they faulted the process as one lacking in depth oversight.
The Pennsylvania Governor according to his office’s press release has made it known that over 2,098 pardons have been granted since his assumption of office and out of that 2,098 there were 326 which formed part of an expedited review for non-violent marijuana related offenses.