PA Marijuana Pardon Project

PA Marijuana Pardon Project

Pennsylvania is coordinating a one-time, large-scale pardon effort for people with certain minor, non-violent marijuana convictions.

Applying is free and entirely online.

Use this guide to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.

‘Nobody should be turned down for a job, housing, or volunteering at your child’s school because of some old, nonviolent weed charge — especially given that most of us don’t even think this should be illegal.’

 Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

Who Is Eligible?

Individuals are eligible only if they have one or both of these convictions in Pennsylvania:

  • Possession of Marijuana (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31)   
  • Marijuana, Small Amount Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I) 

A few important things:

  • The conviction had to have taken place in Pennsylvania.
  • There is no limit for the age of the conviction.
  • People who have additional convictions on their record are not eligible. Learn how to apply for clemency.

Application Period

Calendar for the month of September 2022

This is a special, one-month application period during the month of September.

The Board of Pardons will accept applications from September 1 to September 30, 2022.

How To Apply

Apply online for a pardon through the PA Marijuana Pardon Project.

  1. Create a Keystone Login if you do not yet have one
  2. Have on hand your:
    • Address
    • Phone Number
    • Social Security Number
    • Offense Tracking Number(s)
      • Don’t have an offense tracking number? Use X999999-9.
    • Docket Number(s)
  3. Fill out and submit the online form

There is no fee to apply. Applicants do not need an attorney or legal representation to participate.

Don’t have your case information? Search for your offense tracking and docket numbers using the UJS portal.

Get Started

What Happens After I Apply?

Timeline: Applications being taken Sept. 1-30. Merit reviews Oct. 13. Public hearings Dec. 16-19. After Dec. 19, applications recommended for pardon will be sent to the governor for final action.

The Board of Pardons will contact you if follow-up is needed on your application.

October 13: Merit review sessions will be held. During these sessions, the Board of Pardons will decide if you get a public hearing.

December 13 to 16: The Board of Pardons votes on individual cases in public hearings. Chosen applicants do not need to appear before the board for questioning.

Recommendations then head to the governor for a pardon. The governor is not mandated to act in a specific amount of time after receiving the recommendations.

If the governor grants your pardon, you will receive official documentation in the mail, including a:

  • Letter signed by the secretary of the Board of Pardons
  • Charter of the pardon with the official Commonwealth seal, signed by the governor and secretary of the Commonwealth

After A Pardon

If you receive a pardon, congratulations! This means complete forgiveness for your conviction.

Your next step is to petition the court for an expungement of the conviction from your record. Check with the Clerk of Courts in the county where your arrest took place for further instructions.

Resources

Questions?

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Need further assistance? Email mjpardon@pa.gov.


Q: What is a pardon?

A. A pardon is an act by the Governor of Pennsylvania that acts as forgiveness for a conviction from your criminal record.

 

Q: Does a pardon mean my record is cleared?

A. Not exactly. After being pardoned, you’ll still need to petition the court to have the conviction expunged from your record.

Expungements are handled by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Clerk of Courts in the county where a person was arrested. More information: PA Guide to Pardons.

 

Q: Am I eligible to be included in the PA Marijuana Pardon Project if I have additional convictions on my record?

A. No. This special project is for people whose criminal history ONLY includes one or both of the following convictions:

  • Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31 (Poss. Of Marijuana), and/or
  • Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I (Marijuana-Small Amt Personal Use)

If you have additional or other convictions, please find instructions on applying for clemency on the Board of Pardons Board of Pardons website.

 

Q: Am I eligible to be included in the PA Marijuana Pardon Project if I have criminal convictions in other states or the federal system?

A. No. If you have additional or other convictions, please find instructions on applying for clemency on the Board of Pardons Board of Pardons website.

 

Q: I only have marijuana-related offenses on my record, but not the ones listed here. Do I qualify?

A. No, but you might qualify for the Expedited Review Program.

 

Q: Does it cost to apply?

A. No, it’s free.

 

Q: Do I have to apply online?

A. Yes. The only way to apply is through the online form.

 

Q: Do I need legal representation?

A. No.

 

Q: It looks like I qualify, but I already applied for a pardon. What do I do?

A. Good news: You don’t have to do anything else.

The Board of Pardons is identifying applicants who previously submitted applications and would qualify for the PA Marijuana Pardon Project.

If it turns out you don’t qualify for this limited-time project, your application will remain in the traditional queue to be reviewed by the board.

 

Q: I don’t know my case numbers. Where can I find them?

A. Search for your offense tracking and docket numbers using the UJS portal.

Don’t have an offense tracking number? Use X999999-9.

 

Q: Why is the timeframe so limited?

A. The September 1 to September 30 timeframe ensures that applications will receive a merit review at the October board meeting.

The timeframe also is limited by the amount of time left in Governor Tom Wolf’s tenure.

 

Q: What happens after I apply?

A. After you apply, the Board of Pardons will only reach out if they need further clarification from you.

Oct. 13: Qualified applicants undergo a merit review.

Dec. 13-16: Board votes on applications in public hearings.

The board then sends recommended applications to the governor for a pardon.

You will be notified upon final action by the governor before the end of the Wolf Administration in January 2023.

 

Q: What if I miss the deadline but still want to apply for a pardon?

A. You can apply for clemency.

 

Q: Will the PA Marijuana Pardon Project slow down other pardons processes in Pennsylvania?

A. No, this special initiative will not affect other efforts in Pennsylvania.

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