Parksville council approved four new non-medical retail cannabis shops in the city. - File photo An estimated 250,000 Canadians have some form of cannabis possession conviction. (Pixabay photo)

Free pardons now available for Canadians convicted of simple cannabis possession

Bill C-93 passed in the Senate in June and is now available for Canadians

Canadians with a criminal record for simple possession of cannabis can now apply for a pardon for free.

“Starting today, individuals who were disproportionately impacted by cannabis laws of the past, including visible minorities, Indigenous people, and those in our most vulnerable neighbourhoods can finally shed the burden and stigma of that criminal record and have the ability to move forward positively in their lives,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a news release Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Federal legislation for cannabis-possession pardon not enough, critics say

Bill C-93, which passed in the Senate in June, gets rid of the $631 fee to apply for a pardon and remove the usual five-year waiting period after a conviction before an application will be accepted.

Applicants will be eligible to use the new process even if they have outstanding fines or surcharges associated with their conviction, as long as they have completed the rest of their sentence, the federal government said.

An estimated 250,000 Canadians have some form of cannabis possession conviction. Before cannabis was legalized in October 2018, simple possession was punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

READ MORE: 5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

READ MORE: 10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino and Ucluelet’s Top 10 sports and arts stories of 2019

Revisiting the Coast’s best sports and arts newsmakers of the past year.

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read