Article by Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau, Toronto Sun
The marijuana prohibition era may be closing as early as Canada Day 2018, but pot users may still be burned by old drug laws, warn two veteran criminal defence lawyers.
The current effort at legalization is “so half-hearted” and simply doesn’t deal with the fallout of decades of weed Prohibition, they say. Simple pot possessors — and pot growers — are still being prosecuted and given heavy sentences.
The Canadian government has not made any provision to pardon the thousands of people with simple possession convictions. Their criminal records prevent them from entering the U.S., say critics here.
“It’s inexcusable they’ve waited so long to legalize and it’s just as inexcusable that they haven’t gotten round to blanket pardons,” says veteran criminal defence lawyer Peter Zaduk.
“The paradox is that a Canadian with a 30-year-old conviction for simple possession will be excluded from travelling to California where the state has not only legalized it, but given blanket pardons for the similar crime,” says Zaduk.