No-cost, expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis


**** Canada Media Release

No-cost, expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis

People with criminal records only for simple possession of cannabis are now allowed to shed the burden and the stigma of having a record, eliminating barriers to job opportunities, education, housing, and even the ability to simply volunteer for a charity in their community.

This bill will provide pardons for simple cannabis possession with no application fee and no wait time, by introducing Bill C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis. The bill proposes to allow Canadians previously convicted only of simple cannabis possession to apply for a pardon (also known as a record suspension) and, for the first time in history, waives both the fee and the wait period.

The enforcement of cannabis laws in the past affected certain Canadians. Removing the stigma of a criminal record, and eliminating the fee and wait time to do so for people who have already served their sentence enhances public safety and opportunities for all Canadians.

Quick facts

  • Under the proposed legislation, individuals who have been previously convicted only of simple cannabis possession would be able to apply for a pardon with no application fee or wait period, once their sentence has been served. A person would be able apply even if they are not a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada.
  • Simple possession generally refers to a criminal charge for possession of a controlled substance, in this case cannabis, for personal use with no intent to traffic.
  • Federally, a pardon reduces barriers to reintegration placed on an individual as a result of their criminal record and allows them greater access to job opportunities, educational programs, housing, and the ability to volunteer in their communities.‎

Applying for a Cannabis record suspension

You can apply directly to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for a cannabis record suspension. You do not need to use a lawyer or third-party service provider (see Protect Yourself from Fraud).

Simply follow the step-by-step instructions in the Cannabis Record Suspension Application Guide. Applicants are responsible for any additional fees required as part of their application, such as fingerprints, criminal record, court documents and police checks.

Before you start, check your eligibility to apply for a cannabis record suspension.

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