Ottawa legislation will soon let LGBTTQ* Canadians apply to wipe clean their criminal record of engaging in consensual same-sex acts when they were illegal.
The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act is commendable and overdue. It would also be commendable if Ottawa extended such forgiving grace to Canadians convicted of possessing marijuana.
The historic demonization of same-sex relationships and cannabis no longer reflect our modern understanding. With homosexual acts decriminalized in Canada in 1969, and with marijuana use expected to be legal in Canada by early autumn, this country’s values have moved to a more enlightened understanding on these matters.
This change in the legal status of marijuana brings an important question: what happens to people who have criminal records for possession when the plant becomes legal to possess?