NDP considering pardons for minor cannabis convictions

In a press conference today, Members of the NDP say they are looking at calling for pardons for those with pot possession charges.

In a press conference today, Members of the NDP say they are looking at calling for pardons for those with pot possession charges.

The NDP’s justice critic, Alastair Macgregor, told assembled media in a press conference that the NDP will be ‘looking closely’ at the legislation tabled by the Liberals today and will be considering pardons for those who have faced personal possession charges for cannabis in the past.

MacGregor, who, along with many in the NDP, has been openly critical of the Liberal government’s refusal to address the continued criminalization of personal possession of cannabis, says it’s unfortunate Canadians will still have to wait until next summer to no longer face these charges.

“It’s unfortunate to see that, again, we’re not going to see any action on this for 15 months, or a date that’s going to be determined by the governor in council,” said MacGregor. “Meanwhile, we believe that under the Liberal government’s plans, we’re still going to see charges and convictions that are handed out to lots of of Canadians, which disproportionately affects those who are young and racialized.”

The NDP ran in the last election on a platform of immediate decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis for personal possession.

At the same press conference, the NDP’s Health Critic, Don Davies, said he is also concerned by the lack of reference to medical cannabis in the proposed legislation.

“Many canadians are utilizing medical cannabis as an important part of their healthcare regimen,” said Davies. “Health Canada must develop a comprehensive medical cannabis framework that gives patients affordable access to safe and effective treatment. This includes providing physicians and other health care providers with education and evidence-based prescribing indications.”

Davies also called on more funding for research into the negative health effects of chronic and heavy cannabis use.

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