Pardons available for cannabis possession charges

By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer

People who have a criminal record only for simple possession of cannabis are now eligible to apply for an expedited, no-fee pardon.

Starting on Aug. 1, the federal government announced, people who have a criminal record only for simple possession of cannabis can apply for a pardon, which will make it easier to work, go to school, travel and actively participate in their communities.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, announced the coming into force of an Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis.

Individuals convicted only of simple possession of cannabis can now apply to the Parole Board of Canada for a pardon through a streamlined, simplified process.

The $631 fee and waiting periods associated with other pardon applications are eliminated.

Applicants will be eligible even if they have outstanding fines or surcharges associated with their conviction, as long as they have completed the rest of their sentence.

To assist applicants, the Parole Board of Canada has put in place a streamlined Cannabis Record Suspension Application Guide and forms with step-by-step instructions, as well as a toll-free information line and e-mail address to answer questions.

For more information, please visit (no dashes or spaces), call 1-800-874-2652 or e-mail