Pass the pot pardons

Published on June 21, 2019 by oz. staff

No-cost expedited pardons for petty pot possession are about to be available to Canadians.

The Senate voted this week to pass Bill C-93 at third reading with no amendments, paving the way for royal assent and the bill becoming law.

C-93 allows people convicted of possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis before legalization to apply for a pardon — which normally costs $631 and often requires a five-to-10-year waiting period.

Some say the bill doesn’t go far enough and are pushing for expungement, an extraordinary measure where the criminality of the act and the existence of the law in the first place is questioned. If expungement is ordered, records of the conviction are permanently destroyed from federal databases.

However, the federal Liberals have argued that course of action is impossible because there isn’t a single location for convictions. Rather, criminal records and sentencing info are scattered in in federal and provincial repositories, often in paper copies in local police force offices or court houses.