Virtually two years later, solely 395 folks had been pardoned beneath a program designed to clear weed possession data

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The pardons increased from 265 to 395 in the last six months.

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Angela Stelmakowich Ottawa had originally estimated that 10,000 Canadians Ottawa originally estimated that 10,000 Canadians “could be eligible for a record suspension for simple possession of cannabis”. /. Photo by leksandr_Kravtsov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Public Safety Canada (PSC) reports that Ottawa originally estimated that 10,000 Canadians “could qualify for a record suspension for simple possession of cannabis”. Even so, by August 7, 2020, the probation authority had only received 467 applications, of which 265 had proven successful.

By December 2019, four months after the free program began, only 118 people had received their pardons, just over half of the 234 requests.

PSC acknowledges the numbers are lower than expected, but notes that this may be due to individuals having criminal convictions that go beyond simply possessing cannabis, which would make them “ineligible for expedited trial.” . Individuals may have apologized before the program was launched. “

Cannabis attorney Paul Lewin told CTV News that one reason the numbers are lower than expected may be because officials simply overestimated how many people were eligible. Lewin also noted that property fees have decreased in recent decades and prosecutors have given them a low priority.

The idea behind pardons for simple cannabis possession convictions is to The idea behind pardons for simple cannabis possession convictions is to “remove barriers to reintegration”. /. Photo by John_Carvalho / iStock / Getty Images Plus

According to CTV News, 935 people were pardoned for weed possession violations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and another 1,040 under its predecessor, the Narcotics Control Act, in 2017-2018.

Toronto attorney Caryma Sa had also suggested in an interview with CTV News that, despite the quick tracking of inquiries and waiver of fees, it is still a very intensive process that requires some form filling out and information retrieval .

The applicant may also have to spend money, especially if the records are not in the same city as their current residence, Sa added.

The idea behind pardons for simple cannabis possession convictions, according to the PSC, is to “remove barriers to reintegration by facilitating access to employment opportunities, educational programs, housing and even the ability to simply volunteer in their communities.”

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