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Pardons Available for Past Cannabis Possession Convictions in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government announced that Canada has started pardoning individuals whose only criminal record is a simple cannabis possession conviction

As the first developed nation to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in October of 2018, this pardoning initiative ties back to promises made by Trudeau during his 2015 election campaign.

Liberal Justice Minister David Lametti indicated that an estimated 250,000 Canadians are affected by this type of conviction. Lametti went on to note at a Montreal news conference that many black and indigenous Canadians become burdened with the "lingering consequences" of convictions that occurred during the previous system in which cannabis was illegal.

Under the previous system, individuals convicted of cannabis possession were required to wait five years before applying for a pardon. Additionally, there was a mandatory parole board payment of C$631; both requirements have since been revoked.

The process is now available online and officials anticipate that thousands of Canadians meeting the pre-determined eligibility requirements will be pardoned.

Posted: September 12, 2019


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