Philadelphia CannaBusiness Association
Tauhid Chappell | Shekia Scott
***For Immediate Release***
PCBA Calls on Governor Tom Wolf To Issue More Pardons After Announcement of New PA Marijuana Pardon Project
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, September 2, 2022: In the wake of Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement of the new PA Marijuana Pardon Project, with Lt. Governor John Fetterman and the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, the Philadelphia CannaBusiness Association (PCBA) hoped that it would have more teeth than the already backlogged Expedited Review Program (for non-violent marijuana-specific convictions). Instead, it offered up a more restrictive, cumbersome, and inconvenient process to happen in a short period, indicating that it was a rushed, last-ditch effort.
The application process for the newly announced program is strictly online, available only until September 30th, 2022, and solely for those who meet one or both:
- Possession Of Marijuana (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31) and/or
- Possession of Small Amount of Marijuana for Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I)
- But only as long as these are the ONLY convictions on a person’s record EVER.
The September 30th deadline not only limits the time in which communities can be notified, gather their information, and get their application in but severely excludes eligible participants who may not have online access. In Philadelphia, there are about 96,000 households that do not have broadband internet access, according to the city’s Digital Equity Plan. While it seems Governor Wolf has great intentions to get these applications in before the end of his term, what’s his plan to reach and provide technical assistance to those suffering in our digital divide?
“I’m tired of seeing efforts applauded as a good start,” said PCBA organizer Shekia Scott. “We don’t need any more good starts. We need conclusive results including legalization, automatic expungement and pardons now!” Automatic expungement is part of PCBA’s R.E.P.A.I.R. platform that demands equitable legalization including Reparations, Expungement, Policy, Abolition, Inclusion, and Reinvestment. PCBA calls on the Governor to use his power to pardon and automatically remove people’s cannabis convictions from Pennsylvania records.
PCBA organizer Tauhid Chappell added, “the Governor has the power to issue general pardons and help not just thousands, but tens of thousands of people suffering from past marijuana convictions. If the Governor truly wants to make a difference, he should exercise his authority without delay!”
While the offenses are deemed “minor,” as stated in Governor Wolf’s announcement, the impacts are major. Those impacted can’t afford to be met with burdensome processes any longer. We know this effort is not enough.
We still encourage you to apply for the PA Marijuana Pardon Project: https://www.pa.gov/guides/mj-pardon/