No-cost, expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis
“The Cannabis Act’s coming into force marked an important step in the process of legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting access to cannabis in Canada. This proposed legislation will help eliminate what are disproportionate consequences, and reduce barriers to reintegration for Canadians convicted only of simple cannabis possession.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“Ensuring timely access to pardons for individuals previously convicted only of simple possession of cannabis will help make things fairer for these Canadians - including visible minority communities, Indigenous communities and those in our most vulnerable neighbourhoods - who should have greater access to employment, volunteering opportunities, educational programs, and housing.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Under the proposed legislation, individuals who have been previously convicted only of simple cannabis possession would be able to apply for a pardon with no application fee or wait period, once their sentence has been served. A person would be able apply even if they are not a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada.
Simple possession generally refers to a criminal charge for possession of a controlled substance, in this case cannabis, for personal use with no intent to traffic.
Federally, a pardon reduces barriers to reintegration placed on an individual as a result of their criminal record and allows them greater access to job opportunities, educational programs, housing, and the ability to volunteer in their communities.
Manager of Media and Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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