MP Murray Rankin to table anticipated ground-breaking bill to expunge simple cannabis possession records for Canadians

With just two weeks until the use of cannabis is legalized in Canada, Member of Parliament for Victoria Murray Rankin will table his Private Member’s Bill to expunge cannabis-related convictions tomorrow morning.

“Over 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record for cannabis possession. That’s 500,000 Canadians that are barred from finding employment, from volunteering in their communicates, from finding a place to rent – all for a non-violent action that will soon be perfectly legal,” said MP Rankin. 

In Toronto, black people without a criminal record were found to be three times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people. In Halifax, black people are five times more likely. In Regina, Indigenous Peoples were almost nine times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people. 

“This bill is about righting past wrongs and making Canada fairer and more prosperous for all,” said Rankin. 

So far, the Liberals have put forward no plan to help Canadians convicted of something which will no longer be a crime after October 1. Under current, rules, Canadians must wait five to 10 years and must pay over $600 just to apply for a pardon which does not make their record disappear. Convictions for trafficking and other drug-related crimes that remain illegal will not be affected by Rankin’s bill. 

“It’s a question of justice and I’m hopeful the Liberals will see it that way and not as a partisan issue,” said MP Rankin during a press conference with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh today.

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For more information, please contact:
Krystal Thomson: 250-363-3600 or murray.rankin.c1@parl.gc.ca