Legal cannabis hasn’t just provided states with millions of dollars in tax revenue at a time when their coffers were running low, it has also given people who were shackled with cannabis convictions a new lease at life. Although the decades’ long war on drugs was meant to take down the criminal enterprises behind the illicit drug trade, it is ordinary people who were by and large law-abiding citizens who suffered the most. For most cannabis legalization proponents, marijuana legislation would remove cannabis-related offenses from their records, ridding them of the stigma associated with a criminal record.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has announced a round of pardons that will include individuals with prior nonviolent, cannabis-related convictions. The governor, who is known for his pro-cannabis views, has already pardoned a total of 310 people, 69 of them being part of a program that was granted expedited review to overturn prior marijuana-related charges. Dubbed the Expedited Review Program for Nonviolent Marijuana-Related Offenses, the program was launched in 2019.
According to Wolf, the 310 convictions gave the affected individuals an opportunity to put their cannabis-related “crimes” behind them and allowed them access to additional opportunities while they lived their lives without the shadow of a cannabis conviction constantly dogging them. He noted that pardons for nonviolent, cannabis-related offenses were expedited, reducing what usually took years to just a couple of months.
Six pardons are currently being held for additional review while Wolf denied 13 others. All in all, Pennsylvania’s governor has signed off on 1,559 pardons since 2015, more than any governor in the last two decades. Of these pardons, 95 were from a group that was part of the Expedited Review Program for Non-Violent Marijuana-Related Offenses. Secretary of the Board of Pardons Brandon Flood says that by establishing an accelerated evaluation process for specific individuals requesting pardons for minor offenses, the state Board of Pardons broke with administrative tradition.
Although the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons initially made this expedited review program available for individuals with nonviolent, cannabis-related offenses on their records, the board will soon extend the program to include additional nonviolent, low-level and nonsexual crimes, Flood says.
Wolf made his commitment towards pardoning cannabis offenders clear back in 2019 when he supported efforts to fully legalize recreational cannabis in the state. Although a legal recreational cannabis market has so far eluded his grasp, he is still a fervent advocate for cannabis reform, supporting cannabis legislation and granting pardons to individuals with cannabis-related convictions on their records.
While Pennsylvania has so far not enacted a law creating a legal recreational marijuana market, other states, such as Oregon, have established markets, and many companies are flourishing in the state. Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: GLH) (OTCQB: GLDFF), for instance, has a whopping five brands through which it offers premium cannabis products to savvy consumers in the markets where the company operates.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Golden Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: GLH) (OTCQB: GLDFF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GLDFF
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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