As Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana nationwide on Wednesday, government officials announced a simplified and cost-free process to receive a pardon for past minor pot offenses. Scott Bardsley, a spokesperson for Canada’s Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, told ABC News that a law was being drafted to streamline pardons for possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis.
“We will be introducing legislation to introduce an expedited pardon process, with no fee, for those with previous convictions for simple possession of cannabis,” Bardsley said.
Bardsley said that pardons for past low-level pot crimes were in the interest of justice and fairness.
“The reason we’re doing this is because it’s now something that’s legal, and the consequences of the criminal record are disproportionate to the gravity of the offense,” said Bardsley.
He also noted that the pardons would only apply to crimes of possession for personal use and “not for trafficking. We’re not talking about dealers or producers or anyone of that sort,” Bardsley said.
Under current Canadian law, those with minor marijuana convictions can apply for a pardon of their offense after staying free of other criminal charges for a period of five years. But the process