Ottawa, Canada: The Canadian government has established a new online system for those seeking to obtain pardons for low-level marijuana convictions.
Under the newly initiated process, applicants can seek an expedited record suspension for possession convictions involving up to 30 grams of cannabis. Under the historical system, applicants would have needed to wait several years prior to applying for a pardon. The new policy imposes no fees for those seeking pardons for marijuana convictions.
"Providing free, immediate access to pardons will allow those with criminal records for simple possession of cannabis to move forward with their lives, making it easier to get a job, an education, rent an apartment or volunteer in their community," Justice Minister David Lametti said in a prepared statement.
The website for the Canadian government explains that a pardon "sets aside" a past criminal conviction. It adds, "Suspended criminal records can only be disclosed in exceptional circumstances, and would not normally be disclosed in a background check, such as for employment, housing, a passport or a loan."
The government enacted legislation legalizing and regulating cannabis use and sales last October.
For more information, visit NORML Canada.