Machine Learning: Using the Technology of the Future to Right the Injustices of the Past

Cannabis legalization is fast approaching in Canada and although the federal government has indicated a willingness to clear the criminal records of people convicted of minor cannabis-related offences, no firm plan to achieve this goal has been put in place.  As such, the fate of the 500,000 or so Canadians with cannabis possession records hangs in the balance.

The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty has been leading the drive to secure pardons for those affected by cannabis prohibition. We know that the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted Indigenous, racialized and otherwise marginalized Canadians. Many members of these communities have been saddled with a criminal record that impedes their life chances and the life chances of those around them.

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Cannabis Activist On Drug Prosecution: 'This Is A War On Peaceful People'

Published in Benzinga on August 18, 2018

Three panelists at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference discussed the role of social justice in the marijuana industry on Friday in Toronto.

Despite their diverse experiences and personal exposure to cannabis, each panelist had one theme in common: the consumption of cannabis doesn't harm, but instead stimulates and motivates. Each speaker gave reasons why they believe the drug should be more accepted and respected on all fronts.

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Do women really need their own weed?

Published in the Globe & Mail on August 17, 2018

In 1968, at the swell of the Women’s Lib era, Benson & Hedges launched Virginia Slims cigarettes with a catchy slogan: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The suggestion was that a slim smoke made specifically for women was a required accessory to independence, a way to signal to society and women themselves that they were not just deserving of equality, but ready to seize it.


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13,768 people were charged with cannabis possession in Canada last year

Published in the Daily Hive on July 27, 2018

The number of people charged with cannabis-related crimes in 2017 was the lowest it’s been in 20 years, according to a Statistics Canada survey released June 23.

About 13,768 people in Canada were charged with possession of up to 30g of cannabis in 2017 , according to statistics reported by police to StatsCan. That’s down from 17,720 in 2016 and 25,819 back in 2013. The rate of pot charges in the country has continued to decrease since 2011.

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Why Ottawa should prioritize pardons for simple pot possession

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With the legalization of recreational cannabis coming, Ottawa should move quickly to expunge the criminal records of Canadians with simple cannabis possession conviction on their records, says Annamaria Enenajor, director of the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty and partner at Ruby Shiller & Enenajor Barristers.


Weed Is Almost Legal in Canada—Here’s What To Look For Next

Published in Vice on June 20, 2018

It’s been a long road, but recreational weed is finally, without a shadow of a doubt, going to be legal in Canada.

The Canadian senate passed the Cannabis Act—Bill C-45—Tuesday night with a vote of 52-29, with two abstentions. The bill now needs Royal Assent, which could take place today. Canadians will be able to buy weed legally on October 17.

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Q&A: Criminal lawyer Annamaria Enenajor on what will happen when pot becomes legal

Published on Toronto Life on June 20, 2018

You’re a passionate advocate of amnesty for Canadians with cannabis convictions. Do you think that everyone serving time for pot should earn a get out of jail card? 
There won’t be some mass jail exodus. Most convictions for possession don’t entail jail time anyway. We’re seeking an official pardon and an expungement of records, which means one’s name would no longer come up in criminal record searches or background checks.

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Without amnesty for pot convictions, legalization is a half-measure

Published in the Toronto Star on June 3, 2018

The deadline to legalize marijuana may have been pushed back, but establishing an amnesty for pot convictions remains urgent.

Marijuana legalization has had a winding road. After 14 months of debate and discussion, Bill C-45 goes before the Senate on Thursday for a final vote; if all goes well, it goes back to the House Commons before receiving royal assent.

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Feds hint at amnesty on marijuana charges, but not until after legalization

Published in NOW Toronto on May 18, 2018

There’s an uncomfortable truth to reckon with when it comes to cannabis legalization in Canada – for people of colour the damage of prohibition has already been done.

In Toronto, for example, Black men are three times more likely to be charged with simple possession of marijuana than white men. What’s needed now, say lawyers and academics who’ve recently launched the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, is an amendment to Bill C-45 that will grant pardons to those who have been arrested for simple possession.

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Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is an Open Democracy Project Civic Campaign Accelerator participant. Website by DemocracyKit, created with NationBuilder.