FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO GROUP LAUNCHES
[Toronto, ON] (May 4st 2018) - The harms caused by decades of marijuana prohibition must be rectified. On May 5, 2018, a group of lawyers, activists and entrepreneurs will launch a campaign to ask the federal government to grant blanket pardons for individuals convicted of minor cannabis possession offences.
The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty will launch at the 20th annual Toronto Global Marijuana March, taking place at Queen’s Park. Over the next few months, they will develop education and advocacy resources to help Canadians across the country learn more about the harms caused by cannabis prohibition. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians currently have a criminal record related to simple possession of cannabis. Pardoning these historical offences has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, including those who are the most marginalized.
In February 2016, Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice, acknowledged that one of the greatest injustices in this country is the disparity and the disproportionality of the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws and the impact that those laws have had on minority and Indigenous communities as well as those in vulnerable neighbourhoods. Yet, the federal government has not taken any steps to right these historic wrongs.
“The devastating impact of cannabis prosecutions must not be an afterthought as we march towards legalization,” says Annamaria Enenajor, Campaign Director and criminal defence lawyer at the Toronto-based firm Ruby, Shiller & Enenajor. “If we care about fairness and equality, cannabis amnesty must be front and centre. If we don’t address the discriminatory way this drug has historically been policed, we will reproduce discrimination in the process of legalization.”
A poll conducted in May 2017 by Nanos Research and the Globe and Mail indicated that 62% of Canadians either support or somewhat support pardons for people with criminal records for marijuana possession. The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is asking the government to ACT NOW and issue blanket pardons to all individuals for the offence of simple possession of cannabis.
About Cannabis Amnesty Campaign
We are a group of lawyers, activists, and entrepreneurs brought together by the belief that the harms caused by decades of marijuana prohibition must be set right. We are starting an online petition platform and will develop education and advocacy resources to help Canadians across the country learn more about the harms caused by cannabis criminalization and what we can do to create a more fair and just society.
For Interviews Contact:
Annamaria Enenajor, Cannabis Amnesty Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 964 9664
Tyler James, Community Outreach (To Book Media)