Article by Dustin Cook, Edmonton Journal
A cross-country tour to fight for the rights of more than 500,000 Canadians with a criminal cannabis conviction is making a pitstop in Edmonton.
The PARDON truck, a campaign created by B.C.-based cannabis producer DOJA and Cannabis Amnesty, is visiting five major cities in hopes of garnering 10,000 signatures in support of having minor cannabis records expunged. The call sparked from the legalization of cannabis in October, making the once chargeable offence of cannabis possession a regular everyday norm.
“We’re trying to raise awareness and get those records expunged so that they can move their life forward and get back into society the way we want them to,” DOJA experiential event manager David Duarte said outside the cannabis plant-designed truck Friday afternoon.
The green automobile is set up on the southwest corner of Jasper Avenue and 106 Street from 12-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday to let Edmontonians know what the issues is about and looking for signatures in support.
“We want to give back to the smaller people and show that we actually are with them every step of the way,” Duarte said on why DOJA, which is a subsidiary of Canopy Growth, launched this initiative. “We actually have had people come out to our truck that have a conviction and tell us their personal story.”
Duarte said he met a man at their last stop in Calgary who was caught with less than one gram of cannabis in 1987 and wasn’t able to afford post-secondary education or get a job because of the criminal conviction.