Politics

Canada plans to legalize weed – but will those convicted of crimes get amnesty?

Shall potent plant legalization merely become?… Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor? Privatizing profits and socializing losses?
“Legalization without amnesty is oppressive monopolization.” -Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty
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[Canadian President Justin] Trudeau has himself admitted to smoking marijuana as a sitting MP, and last year admitted that family resources and connections helped his younger brother, Michel, avoid a marijuana possession charge.

Canadians currently have the option of petitioning the government to have the charges dropped, but must pay a fee of $600 and wait five years – a system which critics argue continues to penalize marginalized groups. Advocates for an amnesty in Canada point to swift moves by state governments in the United States following legalization as a useful model. In the weeks following the legalization of cannabis in California, San Francisco’s district attorney expunged thousands of felony convictions related to cannabis possession. Cities such as Seattle and San Diego have also moved to clear away records of marijuana possession. Owusu-Bempah said that in addition to blanket pardons, a handful of US cities have directed the increased tax revenues to communities hardest hit by previous laws – a model he believes could also benefit communities in Canada. Currently, people with criminal records are unable to work in the burgeoning cannabis industry, a policy that hits heavily policed communities especially hard, said Maynard and Owusu-Bempah.

Original Article (The Guardian):
Canada plans to legalize weed – but will those convicted of crimes get amnesty?​
Artwork Fair Use: ECfES

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