Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania speaks at a news conference with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in his Capitol reception room, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Harrisburg, Pa. The men announced that Fetterman will open a "conversation" about legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania by scheduling a series of town hall-style sessions on it. (AP Photo/Marc Levy) Wolf-Marijuana
Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania speaks at a news conference with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in his Capitol reception room, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Harrisburg, Pa. The men announced that Fetterman will open a "conversation" about legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania by scheduling a series of town hall-style sessions on it. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

The governor and US Senate candidate, both vocal advocates for the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, said the new pardon project will give residents with minor, non-violent marijuana convictions a second chance to improve their lives.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and fellow Democrat, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, announced a new program aimed at pardoning past low-level marijuana convictions.

Dubbed the Pennsylvania Marijuana Pardon Project, the initiative is a “coordinated effort for a one-time, large-scale pardoning project for people with select minor, non-violent marijuana criminal convictions,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“This pardon project has the potential to open the door for thousands of Pennsylvanians – the college grad looking to start their career, the grandparent who’s been wanting to chaperone a field trip, or any Pennsylvanian who’s been told ‘no’ for much-needed assistance,” Wolf said. “Now’s your chance.”

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons will be accepting applications online for the pardon project until Sept. 30. Those eligible for pardons include individuals who have convictions for either “possession of marijuana” or “marijuana, small amount personal use” for an amount under 30 grams. The conviction must have taken place in the commonwealth and, while there is no age limit on the conviction, only those without additional convictions on their record are eligible to apply. 

The governor’s office estimates that thousands of Pennsylvanians are eligible for a pardon.

Since taking office, Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons, 326 of which were part of an expedited review for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. 

Urging those who are eligible to apply for relief, Fetterman said the pardon project will deliver a second chance to thousands of residents trying to improve their lives at a time when GOP lawmakers refuse to “take the commonsense approach and just legalize it.”

“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,” Fetterman said.

Both Wolf and Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate for US Senate, have been vocal advocates for the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. Ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh over the Labor Day holiday, Fetterman called on him to work to decriminalize marijuana .

In 2019, Fetterman visited every county in the state, hosting town halls about legalization, and found that 65-70% of the attendees supported legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use. This prompted Wolf to add his support for legalization.