NDP MP Murray Rankin is pushing for expungement of weed convicitons
The NDP Member of Parliament Murray Rankin is making the government’s last effort to pass a bill which would introduce expungement for certain cannabis convictions.
Once the federal government introduced its bill to legalize cannabis, the lawmakers decided that they would ultimately allow for pardons of non-violent cannabis-related crimes.
The lawmakers delivered on their promise to allow for pardons, and getting a pardon for your previous cannabis-related crimes is now easier than ever.
You can get a cannabis pardon now simply by applying for one online or getting a lawyer to request one from the government for you.
However, as Trina Fraser kindly explained, you could always get a pardon—so what’s the difference now?
Well, with cannabis being legal now, you can do that for free and without waiting for approval.
Expungement is on the docket
NDP Member of Parliament Murray Rankin introduced Bill C-415, a bill that if passed would expunge records of anyone who carries a criminal record for past minor, non-violent pot possession convictions.
This bill would wipe the records of anyone with minor, non-violent pot possession convictions from all federal databases, including the RCMP.
MP Ranking introduced this bill hoping that the bill would overrule the one that Congress introduced earlier when legalizing cannabis, as that bill only allows for cannabis pardons and not for expungement.
The major difference between an expungement and a pardon is that the expungement deletes all your previous convictions, while a pardon only means that you are forgiven for it, in essence.
According to Bill C-45, all those with previous cases of possession of 30 grams or less can now get the pardon, but only a pardon and not an expungement.
Bill C-415 would bridge that gap and completely remove the inappropriate convictions from their records, and their records would be as if nothing ever happened.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that expungements should be reserved for cases of “profound historical injustice that needed to be corrected” and that he believes that previous pot convictions don’t qualify.
Expungements, as opposed to pardons, would destroy or remove any record of a conviction meaning that with a pardon, you may have problems crossing the border into the US.
Goodale’s office said that pardons are a better option because you can retrieve records needed to apply for entry into the United States, and that pardoned criminal records can only be disclosed in exceptional circumstances.
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