The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons (BOP) has just established an expedited review program for non-violent marijuana-specific convictions. While there is no guarantee that applicants for this program will receive a favorable decision from the Board, it should be noted that there will be less of an emphasis on how recent the conviction is and more of an emphasis on how compelling the applicant is at demonstrating how a pardon would improve their overall quality of life.
The criminal convictions that are eligible for this program include the following:
- 1. Possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use;
- 2. Possession of a small amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute;
- 3. The distribution of a small amount of marijuana but not for sale;
- 4. Any marijuana-specific conviction relating to the possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia; the delivery of or possession with intent to deliver or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia; or the unlawful advertisement/promotion of sale of drug paraphernalia;
- 5. Criminal conspiracy relating to an underlying marijuana-specific offense.
- 6. Marijuana-related DUI’S incurred by lawful medial marijuana cardholders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Applicants would be required to produce proof that they were lawful medical marijuana cardholders at the time of their offense);
- 7. Any felony conviction for possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana only);
- 8. Any marijuana-specific conviction that the Secretary of the Board of Pardons deems appropriate.
The following individuals shall be deemed ineligible to apply for an expedited review:
- 1. Anyone that has not yet been convicted of a marijuana-specific offense in a court of competent jurisdiction;
- 2. Anyone that is currently enrolled in, or has completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program;
- 3. Anyone who possesses a criminal conviction classified as a violent offense;
- 4. Anyone who possesses a conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana; and
- 5. Anyone convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana who was not a lawful medical marijuana cardholder in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of the incident.
Applicants shall only be permitted to submit one application for clemency at a time. However, an applicant can withdraw a pending clemency application if they wish to apply for an expedited review instead. The BOP is also in the process of analyzing applications that have already submitted to determine if they meet the desired criteria.
You can download an application packet at:
Expedited Review Program
If you have any questions or concerns about completing the application, you should consult an attorney immediately.