OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Tens of thousands of Canadians who are saddled with a criminal record for cannabis convictions received welcome news this week.
Bill C-93, which will allow expedited pardons for Canadians who were convicted of simple possession of cannabis before legalization came into effect. The bill passed in the Senate Wednesday, without amendment.
The legislation that gets rid of the $631 fee to apply for cannabis possession pardons received royal assent.
The bill also does away with the five to ten-year waiting period to get applications finalized. Ralph Goodale, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said it’s the right step to take.
“People who have a criminal record only for simple possession of cannabis should be allowed to shed the burden and stigma of that record, making it easier to get a job, get an education, rent an apartment, travel, volunteer in their community and simply move on with their lives,” Goodale said in a statement.
The federal NDP has said they would prefer people’s records be fully expunged.
With files from the Canadian Press.