The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday, March 2, edition that the federal government has introduced legislation to provide pardons to people convicted of simple cannabis possession. A Canadian Press dispatch to The Globe reports that
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.
The government says fees and the wait period are being waived for those seeking pardons for the first time in history. It says the legislation will help make things fairer for those effected by what Mr. Goodale says were disproportionate consequences.
The government also notes the enforcement of cannabis laws before recreational use was legalized last October particularly affected members of black and indigenous communities.
Critics say the legislation does not go far enough, and people with these convictions should have their records expunged. The government, however, says a pardon is actually more useful for Canadians seeking to cross international borders.
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