Since the announcement that marijuana would be fully legalized in Canada, locals reacted with a mixture of joy and surprise. Now, on October 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are celebrating the legalization of this little plant, while some have reacted with a mixture of caution and frustration towards the larger industries (who plan to distribute brands of the plant). Now, Canadian adults 19 years and older (18 years and older in Quebec) have the right to consume cannabis without a medical card and can grow the drug at home. Surprisingly, Ottawa is taking a unique step in its approach to legalization. Recently, legal officials from the Canadian capital revealed they would grant pardons to people who were previously convicted of growing marijuana when the drug was still illegal. Let’s take a closer look at this reveal.
I Pardon You
Hours after the drug was officially legalized today, the Canadian federal government announced that it would clear the criminal records of people who had previously been convicted of possessing cannabis (under 30 grams). As part of a recent press conference, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale explained that officials would ensure these people could be reintegrated into the public eye without issues related to criminal charges. In previous years, these individuals have suffered from problems with international travel and the completion of background checks due to negative streaks on their records. Now, with this decision put into play, these people can set their lives back on track.
Preventing Further Clashes
Toronto lawyer Annamaria Enenajor, a member of Cannabis Amnesty, explained that this sign of amnesty will produce positive relationships between these marijuana growers and government officials. Nevertheless, Canadian lawmakers have excluded traffickers from these pardons. As of now, over 500,000 Canadian people will have their criminal records (related to marijuana) permanently erased from the country’s Criminal Code.
Goodale, however, did emphasize that this process can be expensive and could take a while to complete. Still, he and other lawmakers hope for the best.
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