Faster Pardon Review for Marijuana cases

Faster Pardon Review for Marijuana cases

In 2019, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons created a faster review process for marijuana related offenses.

Usually, the pardon process takes 2 – 3 years.  Marijuana related misdemeanor and felony offenses now have a faster process.  How much quicker are the applications reviewed? A year or less, AND a public appearance may not be required.

Eligibility

  • Possession of marijuana (misdemeanor)
  • Delivery of marijuana (felony)
  • Conspiracy to commit a marijuana offense and
  • marijuana-related paraphernalia
  • A DUI conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana is eligible IF the driver can prove they can prove they were were lawful medical marijuana cardholders.

Process

If you have a marijuana pardon in process, it must be withdrawn and refiled. Although, the Board of Pardons does claim to be reviewing the existing applications for eligibility.

Otherwise, the paper process is the same as the original Pardon process.  The Criminal Complaint and other records must be included.  An explanation for why the crime occured is still required.  How recent the conviction is is less important than how the pardon would improve the applicant’s quality of life.

DQs

There are some disqualifications to keep in mind:

    • Any conviction for a crime classified as violent
    • DUI convictions are not eligible
    • ARD participants are disqualified

The applicant must receive 3 out of 5 positive votes to be recommended.  The Governor still gets the final say.  While there is no guarantee of success, the creation of this faster review process clearly shows the changing attitude about marijuana and the harm done to people with criminal convictions.

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