Chuck Rifici, Chairman and CEO, Auxly Cannabis Group, Founder and CEO, Nesta Holding Co., Chairman of National Access Cannabis
As a former British Columbia Health Minister I am an ardent supporter of policies that improve public health, including the legalization of a well regulated cannabis industry. Marginalized and racialized groups have been disproportionately affected by the enforcement of drug prohibition, and many cannabis law reform advocates have been criminalized for activism that paved the way for our legal cannabis industry. Having a criminal record is associated with a range of health and social vulnerabilities that can lead to poorer long-term health. Pardoning those with criminal records for simple possession of cannabis is good public policy.
The opportunity to play sports is something no youth should have stripped from them. Yet data shows that minor possession charges have disproportionately affected minority youth, specifically African-Canadians and Indigenous youth, limiting opportunities for jobs, participation in sports, travel, and much more. Although this is not a statement supporting youth drug use, it is one meant to raise awareness of government legislation in regards to cannabis law: Criminal records for minor drug possession prohibits participation in sports for the youth who likely need it most. Cannabis amnesty will change the lives of our children, opening the door for inner city youth to participate in their sport of choice. I support a second chance for our youth. I support the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty.
“Without amnesty for non-violent cannabis offences, the entire concept of legalization continues to punish people for no good reason. “
As a Hamilton City Councillor whose residents have been targeted, criminalized, and incarcerated for past cannabis related offences; and given the exclusive nature in which this government had provided access to legalization, cannabis licensing, and corporate profiteering, I am calling for full Amnesty for all people convicted of nonviolent Cannabis crimes, past and present, including those currently incarcerated.
Free Them All.
Hamilton City Councillor, Ward 3
"Legalization without amnesty is oppressive monopolization"
- Ian Campeau, Deejay NDN
The reason we regulate anything is to discourage uncivil behaviour, from littering to unscrupulous business practises; not to protect people from a plant; and certainly not to continue criminalizing and fining people for using that plant pretty much anywhere.
"Criminal records for petty cannabis offences continue to be a roadblock for already marginalized populations, and wiping them away should be looked at as the fair thing to do."
Mike Schreiner, Green Party Leader of Ontario
“The criminalization of cannabis is a longstanding injustice. Amnesty for possession is necessary to correct the injustice as best we can. It’s the right things to do, and we should act on it immediately.”
"Cannabis Amnesty is deeply important to me as a long-time cannabis activist. The primary reason to legalize cannabis is to end the numerous civil liberties violations and unjust criminalization harms related to prohibition policies. Cannabis-related criminal records prevent our fellow citizens from being treated equally regarding employment, housing, travel and even parenting. It's irrefutable that cannabis and drug prohibition laws have been used to disproportionately target and harm our most marginalized citizens, including black, brown, indigenous, poor and young Canadians.
The only legitimate form of cannabis legalization must include an acknowledgement of the discrimination and stigma that harms people criminalized for cannabis; an apology and amnesty for citizens with cannabis criminal records; and reparations for prohibition victims, to repair the damage caused by decades of costly, punitive prohibition law enforcement.
That is why I am devoted to calling for an arrest moratorium, cannabis amnesty, and retroactive removal of all non-violent cannabis criminal records, including for those who provide access to cannabis. Legalization is supposed to be about restoring justice. Without Cannabis Amnesty, there will be no justice. Cannabis Amnesty must be granted immediately to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians with cannabis-related criminal records."
– Jodie Emery