OTTAWA — The federal government promises it will soon be quicker — and less expensive — to obtain a criminal pardon for simple pot possession convictions of the past.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says coming legislation will waive the waiting period and fee for those seeking a pardon for possession offences.
The Liberals have faced pressure to address the pot pardon issue, including within their own caucus, due to the effect of marijuana-related convictions on marginalized Canadians.
Until now, simple possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana has been punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.
Individuals have been eligible to apply for a pardon through the Parole Board of Canada five years after the conviction is handed down.
But the waiting period and the $631 cost of applying for a pardon, known as a record suspension, have proven difficult for some people saddled with records.
The Canadian Press