Pennsylvania: Governor Issues Pardons for Those with Past Marijuana Convictions

Harrisburg, PA: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has granted pardons to dozens of low-level marijuana offenders. The pardons were granted as part of an expedited process put into place last September via the Board of Pardons. That process, which was spearheaded by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, explicitly facilitates the expedited review of those with criminal records for low-level marijuana violations. 

To date, the Governor has issued expedited pardons to just under 100 marijuana offenders. 

In recent months, lawmakers and public officials in various states have taken aggressive steps to review and vacate the criminal records of tens of thousands of people with marijuana convictions. In California alone, over 100,000 citizens had their records expunged. In several other states – including Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, and Washington – public officials granted pardons to tens of thousands of citizens with cannabis convictions. 

Said NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano: “Millions of citizens unduly carry the burden and stigmatization of a past conviction for behavior that most Americans no longer believe ought to be a crime, and that in a growing number of states is no longer classify as a crime by statute. Our sense of justice and our principles of fairness demand that officials move swiftly to right the past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization.”

Additional information regarding states’ marijuana expungement policies is available from NORML.