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Pennsylvanians with minor, nonviolent marijuana criminal convictions could be pardoned beginning Thursday in a period until the end of the month under a joint effort from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
The so-called "one-time, large-scale pardon effort" will allow anyone who has been convicted of possession of marijuana or small amount of personal use to apply. There is no limit for the age of conviction.
The application is free, and entirely online.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is pushing for the legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania. And New Jersey jumping into the game makes it all the more urgent. He hopes this accelerates the timeline for Pennsylvania.
“Anywhere between 30 to 40% of our population lives a half-hour drive or less from New Jersey. So, it’s something that we’re going to have to confront as well as the massive outflow of dollars,” Fetterman says.
A conservative revenue projection from the taxation of marijuana, he says, would see at least $5 billion over 20 years.
With voters in neighboring New Jersey set to vote in November on whether to legalize adult use of marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday renewed his call for the General Assembly to act on legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania.
Republicans in the both the state House and Senate once again made it clear they were not interested in doing so.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that he is now in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, following a months-long statewide recreational marijuana listening tour in which Lt. Gov. John Fetterman talked to residents in all 67 counties about the issue.
Following Wolf’s announcement, Attorney General Josh Shapiro echoed the governor’s statement, tweeting, “Continuing to criminalize adult personal marijuana use is a waste of limited law enforcement resources, it disproportionately impacts our minority communities, and it does not make us safer.”
Pennsylvania’s neighbors to the north and east were seemingly hot on the trail of legalizing marijuana and it didn’t go unnoticed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
The strong interest in legalizing recreational cannabis coming out of New York and New Jersey was cited as a reason why Wolf sent Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on a statewide listening tour to hear what Pennsylvanians thought of the idea.
Thriving recreational markets in D.C. and such states as Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon have legalized home cultivation within their recreational marijuana laws. Despite the argument that home cultivation would hurt dispensaries and overall commercial sales, Colorado made $266,529,637 in marijuana tax revenue in 2018, nearly quadruple the amount in 2014, while allowing for home growing that entire period.