Oct 17, 2018

By Jane Brown

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Canadians convicted of simple marijuana possession in the past will ultimately be pardoned.

On this first day of legalized recreational cannabis, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has announced a plan to grant pardons for cases of possession of 30 grams or less.

“As a general principle, removing the stigma of a criminal record for people who have served their sentence and then shown themselves to be law abiding citizens, enhances public safety for all Canadians,” Goodale explained.

Goodale sat alongside three other Trudeau cabinet ministers in making the announcement in Ottawa Wednesday morning; Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Organized Crime Minister Bill Blair, who offered reassurance to those who work in the legal cannabis industry and travel to the U.S.

“We were very encouraged by the recent clarification that was issued by the customs border patrol in the United States with respect to individuals who are involved in the legal cannabis industry in this country and the fact they would generally not be prohibited from coming into the United States unless, save and except, they were going into the United States to engage in the marijuana industry which of course is illegal in that country,” Blair outlined.

In Ontario, the Doug Ford PCs have sanctioned sales of pot online to start at the Ontario Cannabis Store with plans to have brick and mortar stores in April 2019.

The proposed legislation at Queen’s Park mirrors the Smoke Free Ontario act for cigarettes. Once it passes later today, marijuana can be consumed or smoked anywhere cigarettes are allowed, with the exception of cars and boats.

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