The National Post reports in Wednesday, June 12, edition that Ottawa is encouraging Washington to take careful note of criminal pardons granted to Canadians for pot possession so that United States officers have the most accurate information when deciding whether to let people cross the border. A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post reports that
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he made the point to a receptive Kevin McAleenan, the acting U.S. secretary of homeland security, during a meeting in Washington this week.
"It is important for the records that are kept on the American side to reflect the accurate legal status of Canadians," Mr. Goodale said.
Parliament is studying a government bill that would ease the process of obtaining a pardon for possessing a small amount of cannabis now that recreational use of the drug is legal in Canada.
Under the legislation, which is before the Senate, Canadians convicted of simple pot possession over the decades before legalization could apply for a pardon, also known as a record suspension, without the usual fee or waiting period.
The RCMP cautions that Canadians convicted of pot-related offences, but granted pardons, could be refused entry to the U.S.
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