Aurora Cannabis, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers, is making a $50,000 contribution to the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty.
The funds will be put towards advocating for the expungement of criminal records for personal possession cannabis offences that will no longer be illegal after October 17, and to continue to educate Canadians about the current injustices that result from cannabis prohibition.
“Racialized Canadians are over-represented in statistics looking at cannabis possession charges. This is because the laying of charges is a discretionary decision made by front-line law enforcement and in some cases, prosecutors,” Annamaria Enenajor, director of Cannabis Amnesty and lawyer with Ruby Schiller & Enenajor Barristers told Daily Hive.
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According to a Statistics Canada, about 13,768 people in Canada were charged with possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis in 2017, the lowest number in 20 years.
After legalization, over 500,000 Canadians will continue to be burdened by possession offences that limits their ability to find housing, employment, to travel or volunteer.
“Aurora strongly believes that the negative socio-economic impact of maintaining criminal records for simple possession needs to be addressed urgently,” said Jonathan Zaid, Aurora’s Director of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, in a press release. “We look to the Canadian government to provide amnesty to these people, largely from marginalized communities, ensuring their broad exclusion from Canadian society is lifted.”
“We believe that adding Aurora’s voice to our own will allow us to shine a brighter light on the urgent need for cannabis amnesty,” said Enenajor.
“Granting pardons for cannabis possession will directly help over half a million Canadians, and benefit our economy at the same time. It’s a no-brainer and we are looking to work closely with legislators in Ottawa to make this happen.”
The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is currently collecting signatures for a petition to drop punishment for cannabis users.