Skip to main content

Canada Trudeau government formally introduces legislation to pardon people convicted of simple cannabis possession

Part of cannabis laws and regulations

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale stands during question period in the House of Commons in West Block on Parliament Hill on Feb. 5, 2019.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The federal government has introduced legislation to provide pardons to people convicted of simple cannabis possession with no application fee and no wait time.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the legislation will allow people to shed the stigma of a record, eliminating barriers to job opportunities, education, housing, and even the ability to volunteer for a charity in their community.

The government says fees and the wait period are being waived for those seeking pardons for the first time in history.

Story continues below advertisement

It says the legislation will help make things fairer for those impacted by what Goodale says were disproportionate consequences for simple cannabis possession.

The government also notes the enforcement of cannabis laws before recreational use was legalized last October disproportionately affected certain Canadians, particularly members of Black and Indigenous communities.

Critics say the legislation doesn’t go far enough and people convicted of small-time cannabis possession should have their records expunged.

But the government says a pardon is actually more useful for Canadians seeking to cross international borders.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter