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Pennsylvania Governor Seeks to Pardon People With Marijuana Convictions

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf voiced his intention earlier this fall to pardon people with past marijuana convictions, as the state also continues to mull the legalization of recreational marijuana.

What would the process of receiving a pardon or an expungement look like, from a practical standpoint? Here’s a quick overview.

The possibility of a marijuana pardon

Marijuana possession is generally considered a misdemeanor, except in places like Harrisburg that have decriminalized marijuana possession. Misdemeanor convictions cannot be expunged. This is where a pardon comes in—if granted, it would allow people to move forward from a legal standpoint and then expunge the conviction.

Governor Wolf is hoping to speed up the process of pardons for people convicted of marijuana charges. People over age 70 or relatives of people who have passed away may petition for expungements in marijuana cases. However, a normal misdemeanor conviction outside of those circumstances cannot be expunged if there is no pardon.

This means hastening the pardon process and opening it up to more people would, in turn, act as the first step to getting more people the expungements they need for their past marijuana convictions.

For more information about the expungement and pardoning process and about the state’s marijuana possession laws, contact experienced Reading, PA drug crimes attorney David R. Eshelman.


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