Article by Sarah Leamon, Cannabis Life Network
Now that cannabis is legal, where does it leave Canadians with criminal records for past pot convictions?
Early on the morning of legalization, October 17, 2018, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale held a press conference to answer that very question.
In his address, Goodale confirmed that the Liberal government will introduce legislation to allow Canadians who have received criminal sentences in relation to cannabis possession to apply for a pardon. He also confirmed that they will not have to pay a fee or wait for a specified time period following their conviction.
Goodale cited fairness and consistency as reasons for this initiative.
He said that granting pardons becomes “…a matter of basic fairness when older laws from a previous era are changed.”
Under our current laws, Canadians applying for a pardon in relation to any criminal conviction, including cannabis-related offences, must pay a prescribed fee of $631.00. This can be cost-prohibitive to many people who may otherwise benefit from such a process.