Petition to the Government of Canada
- An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis was an essential first step for the federal government to recognize the impact of criminal records for the simple possession of cannabis on hundreds of thousands of Canadians;
- More than three years after legalization of the Act, less than 500 pardons have been granted;
- Cannabis was criminalized in 1923 pursuant to the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act without any basis in scientific evidence, and without any debate in the House of Commons;
- Its precursor, the Opium Act (1908), was enacted at the behest of former Prime Minister King to marginalize and extradite Chinese Canadians;
- The Opium Act and the 1923 addition of cannabis should never have existed due to its racist, unscientific origins; and
- The legalization of cannabis in 2018 brought a scientific, harm-reduction approach but left those with criminal records to obtain their own relief, when it is incumbent upon the federal government to make that effort.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to continue its efforts in redressing the harms of 95 years of unscientific and racist cannabis prohibition by:
1. Acknowledging that the law never should have existed; and
2. Granting expungements to Canadian citizens convicted of offences involving cannabis, pursuant to Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
December 20, 2021, at 12:04 p.m. (EDT)
April 19, 2022, at 12:04 p.m. (EDT)