Canadian Government Won't Pardon People For Past Cannabis Convictions

The federal public safety minister says the plan to legalize recreational marijuana does not include a general amnesty for past pot convictions.

Ralph Goodale tells The Canadian Press not to expect a blanket pardon for people with records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

The C.D. Howe Institute, a prominent think−tank, has recommended the government consider pardoning people convicted of pot possession - and drop any outstanding charges - to free up much-needed resources for legalization.

Goodale notes there is already a formal process to have a criminal record set aside.

Those convicted of simple possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana are eligible to apply for a pardon, now known as a record suspension, five years after their sentence is completed.

An internal Public Safety Canada briefing note, released last year under the Access to Information Act, said the issue of record suspensions would be "important to consider during the marijuana legalization discussions."

Latest.

Both houses of the New Jersey legislature have chosen to postpone voting on a bill that would have legalized recreational cannabis in the state. New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) has announced that Monday's Senate and Assembly votes on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act has been cancelled. "While we are all disappointed that we did not secure enough votes to ensure legislative approval of the adult use cannabis bill today, we made substantial progress on a plan that would make significant changes in social policy," Sweeney said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

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