HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman along with Pennsylvania Board of Pardons Secretary Brandon Flood provided more detail regarding the pardon process for low-level marijuana convictions.
"I want to emphasize that wil we cut down on the red tape for pardons, these cases are not being rubber-stamped," Governor Wolf said. "I read each recommendation case individually and weigh the decision carefully. I factor in the effect a pardon will have on past victims and the likelihood to re-offend. But I also weigh the consequences of people continuing to carry a record when they have turned their lives around. By allowing more cases to be heard through the pardons process, we are treating people like individual human beings. It's the right thing to do."
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Both Governor Wolf and Lt. Governor Fetterman released their final report of a statewide tour where they gathered the opinions of Pennsylvanians regarding adult-use of recreational marijuana.
Part of that release was a request from Lt. Governor Fetterman asking the Board of Pardons to expedite pardons for those with low-level marijuana convictions.
Secretary Flood provided an explanation of the process that the Board of Pardons goes through when it comes to reviewing requests and determines if a pardon should be granted.
"While Pennsylvania could legalize the recreational use of marijuana sometime in the future, what continues to remain uncertain is the appetite of the General Assembly to provide retroactive relief to the countless Pennsylvanians who were subject to the direct and collateral consequences of marijuana-specific criminal convictions," Sec. Flood said. "Therefore, our policy proposal should be viewed as an attempt to balance the scales of justice within the context of our nation's ever-evolving drug policy."
Lt. Governor Fetterman reiterated his request encouraging Pennsylvanians to apply for marijuana-related pardons.
"Anyone with a marijuana-related, nonviolent possession or paraphernalia charge is encouraged to apply for a pardon, for free, and have his or her application expedited," Lt. Gov. Fetterman said. "Given the favorable sentiment to legalizing marijuana, there's no reason records of this nature should continue to hinder people from living their most productive lives."
Governor Wolf added that this effort is part of making sure residents get a second chance.
"These efforts to move more Pennsylvanians through the pardons process is part of a larger effort to do all that we can do to give people a fair second chance," he said.
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