Sources have confirmed to CTV News that the Canadian government intends to issue pardons, and not record expungements or amnesty, for cases of possession of 30 grams or less, as the country’s cannabis legalization policies go into effect.
An announcement from the government on Wednesday morning, just after legalization has gone into effect, is expected to lay out the plan.
The Public Safety Minister, Justice Minister, Health Minister, and Border Security and Organized Crime Minister are expected to speak with reporters on the morning of Canada’s historic legalization day and discuss expungement and other related issues.
The pardons won't be granted immediately, but ministers are expected to outline options that could be used to facilitate the pardon process and potential ways to expedite it.
One option could be an application-based approach, where people would have to fill out a form to qualify.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about pardons the day before the Oct. 17th legalization went into effect. The PM said, “we’re going to be working on that as I’ve said, as soon as the day of legalization comes into force.”
It is unclear what happens to marijuana possession cases currently before the courts.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney had said the provincial government intended to proceed with the cases.
“If you were charged with breaking the law before Oct 17th, you knew you were breaking the law," she told reporters.
“People who were being charged and whose cases are going through the court system will continue to go through the court system.”
Some estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of Canadians with personal possession charges for marijuana.
We, your neighbors to the south, are hoping for complete government pardons and clean records.