Du cannabis pour tout le monde
Cannabis for everyone.
October 17 at 7:04 PM .
Pierre-Jean Sequin PJS
Un militant pro-cannabis de la premiere heure, Raymond
Turmel, a salue avec un joint, en ce 17 octobre, la
legalisation du cannabis.
Arrete pour production de cannabis dans les annees 90,
Raymond Turmel a toujours cherche a contourner les lois pour
arriver a ses fins.
A Pro-cannabis activist since first days, Raymond
Turmel, welcomed the legalization of cannabis on 17
October with a joint.
Arrested for cannabis production in the 90 s, Raymond
Turmel has always sought to circumvent the laws to
achieve his goals.
PJS: Raymond Turmel accompanies us for a stroll in the
woods. But this time, it's not to show us a pot plantation.
RT: Well, it's legal for everyone. You've now made it into
PJS: Like many others, The great defender of access to
cannabis savors the precise moment in these days in Canadian
history when it set.
RT: I'm happy for all of you, I'm happy for all the people.
You won't be bothered any more, standing in a line-up for
the cinema for smoking a joint, or in line before the hockey
PJS: Ray Turmel is formal. Organized crime and less-
organized crime will still continue to produce pot illegally
because the government sells too expensively.
RT: $226 for this (little baggie). Har har har har har har.
PJS: It's exaggerated..
RT: Of course, it's exaggerated. Yes, it's very exaggerated.
PJS: In his opinion, those who hold permits to produce for
medical purposes are the most privileged.
RT: It's my medicine. I grew it... for me.
PJS: But if I take the bag, take possession of the bag, it's
RT: No, because the excise tax hasn't been paid.
PJS: Besides his affirmations, the democratization of
cannabis is applaudable according to him even if each
territory will apply regulations of their own.
RT: On one side of the track, it's okay, on the other side
is not. Two small towns where it's different.
PJS: A big step has been made with the legalization but the
sexagenarian militant isn't finished his fight because the
non-avowed aim of governments, according to him, is to
enrich themselves off consumers.
RT: It's not criminal. It's like the Excise Tax Act, you
didn't pay your tax. This is the Cannabis Act, you didn't
pay your tax. Get it? har har har har har har.
JCT: From the CBC:
Tens of thousands of Canadians could soon be eligible for a
pot pardon, but lawyers warn about limitations
John Paul Tasker . CBC News
Oct 18, 2018 4:00 AM ET
tives/16x9_780/medical-marijuana-activist-smokes-a-marijuana-cigarette.jpg Activist Ray Turmel holds a bag of medical marijuana while
he smokes a marijuana cigarette. Pot proponents say past
criminal records for cannabis possession should be expunged.
The Liberal government's announcement that it will expedite
the processing of pardons for people with minor cannabis-
related criminal records is welcome news to tens of
thousands of Canadians who have been convicted of possession
JCT: I guess no pardon for Possession for the Purpose of
Trafficking when I brought a life-sentence 7-pounds of
marijuana to Prime Minister Chretien in 2003 won't qualify.
And while the Parole Board of Canada might soon be inundated
with record suspension requests - more than 500,000
Canadians have a criminal record for having pot on their
person, according to a 2014 study - advocates claim the
Liberal plan might not go far enough to reverse decades of
"historical injustice" from cannabis prohibition.
JCT: Double and triple the number of those who were busted
and bought their way out with a contribution to charity.
The number of Canadians convicted of simple pot possession
offences each year has been on the decline since Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau announced his plan to legalize and
regulate the drug.
JCT: Not much of a decline for such a profitable piece of
business for the shysters.
His 2015 election victory all but assured a legal change -
JCT: And he took his sweet time about it. Guess the adults
wouldn't let junior move right away. 3 full years, not a
and yet some 55,000 Canadians were arrested for cannabis-
related offences in 2016 alone (of those 41,800 were for
possession), according to Statistics Canada.
JCT: About the same as every year. So 150,000 busts just in
Justin's years. And how many since Pierre broke his promise
to legalize 40 years ago.
Even if one were to assume many of those arrests do not
ultimately result in convictions, the number of Canadians
with a criminal past for possession of the drug - one that
is now legal - is still a staggering figure.
JCT: Lawyers love the Trudeaus, that's for sure.
Thus, the government's pledge to waive the steep fee for a
record suspension (pardon) - it normally costs $631 - and do
away with the standard waiting period (five years for a
summary offence, 10 years for an indictable offence) could
be a truly life-changing move for a sizeable minority of
"I think today's a historic day. Canada is doing something
monumental," Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, the director of research
at Cannabis Amnesty, a not-for-profit that has fought for a
solution for those with criminal records for cannabis
possession, said in an interview on Wednesday.
"It's fantastic to hear the government is recognizing the
harms that have been done by criminalizing people," he said.
JCT: Pardoning isn't recognizing the harms done.
Compensating like some US States are doing would be.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the pardons will
"shed the burden and stigma" and break down barriers to
jobs, education, housing or volunteer work.
JCT: Yes, it will, too bad there's no apology with it. Of
course, they won't apologize to people who broke the law.
A record suspension does not erase the fact someone
committed a crime. Rather, it keeps the record separate from
other criminal records in the Canadian Police Information
Centre (CPIC) database.
Lack of a pardon timeline problematic
The government was light on details Wednesday - affirming
only that the process would be free, and waiting periods
would be eliminated - while promising legislation would soon
be introduced in the House of Commons.
JCT: Instead of just ordering them all expunged, everyone
will have to fill out an application to be processed by a
bureaucracy. Trudeau making employment for law clerks too.
Michael Spratt, a prominent criminal defence lawyer in
Ottawa, said the pardon pledge is a "step in the right
direction" but the lack of a firm timeline is problematic.
"It's a bit charitable to call it a plan. There's no
legislation before Parliament and there aren't many
details," Spratt said in an interview with CBC News.
"A lot of things remain to be seen about how it's actually
going to play out and, given the upcoming election, if it's
going to play out at all."
JCT: You can bet it's going to make more work for lawyers
and clerks rather than just one big erasure.
Liberal government to waive fee, waiting time for pot
Cannabis is legal in Canada - here's what you need to know
A big question for Spratt is just how broad the government
will "cast the pardon net," and he questions whether the
application process will be open to people convicted of
other offences or for people who have breached probation.
With a standard processing time of 6-12 months for a record
suspension, people with a history of cannabis convictions
are still at least a year away from having some form of
"A plan to deal with historic marijuana offences is
something the government shouldn't have waited on. It's
widely acknowledged the devastating harm that a criminal
record can have and so every day we delay in correcting
those injustices is a day too long," Spratt said.
When asked why a bill was not already drafted and ready for
introduction Wednesday - the legalization date has been
known for months - Goodale said the government did not want
to pursue such a regime until the 100-year-old prohibition
of the drug was officially lifted.
JCT: We didn't want to plan how to amend until we'd stopped
harming people. And since we're still harming people...
Pardons have limitations
And despite the promise of having a record suppressed,
criminal lawyers are warning that a pot pardon has its
Firstly, it is not an expungement, which is another, far
more robust form of record relief for people who have been
convicted of a crime.
An expungement goes one step further than a pardon,
destroying all known government records of the offence.
JCT: But Justin wants to keep you on record as a criminal.
He's not going to apologize and admit you're not.
When an expungement is ordered, the person convicted of the
offence is deemed never to have been convicted of that
offence in the first place. With a pardon, a person is still
considered a past criminal and they would still have to
check the "convicted of a criminal offence" box on an
application for housing or employment.
JCT: Get that. They won't expunge, they want to make you
tick off "convicted of a criminal offence." for which
Justin Mr. Apology isn't going to apologize.
The government recently offered to expunge criminal records
for LGBTQ people who were convicted of certain crimes that
have now been deemed "historically unjust," with eligibility
limited to three offences: gross indecency, buggery and anal
JCT: You know where Justin's focus is.
Owusu-Bempah said a similar expungement should be extended
to people with a cannabis possession criminal history in
large part because those laws were often applied
disproportionately to Indigenous people and black Canadians.
"I think historical injustices come in to play [with
cannabis] as it was done with crimes of buggery. There were
disparities across the country in the application of some of
the law. Indigenous populations and black peoples have been
saddled with the impact of a criminal record, the burden of
a criminal record, when the drug has been widely used,"
Toronto man with pot convictions says a pardon isn't enough
to clear his name
Cannabis and the border: what pot-smoking Canadians need to
A spokesperson for Goodale said while there is no doubt
"certain communities have been disproportionately affected"
by the way cannabis laws have been enforced, "expungement is
an extraordinary measure intended to be used when the
injustice is inherent in the law itself, as was the case
with the prohibition of sexual activity between same-sex
partners, rather than a matter of how the law is enforced."
And Justin and Goodale don't think criminalizing pot was an
injustice since they pretend they think it was dangerous.
Application process onerous for marginalized people
Spratt said many of the people who have been hit with
possession-related charges in recent years - even as police
have slowed such activity - are overwhelmingly marginalized
groups like racial minorities, people with prior records or
mental health issues, and the poor.
JCT: You can bet they're not busting the kids of the rich
too often, or if they are, the convictions of the kids of
the rich with expensive lawyers.
"I've definitely seen a decrease in white, middle class
university students who are facing these charges," he said.
JCT: No kidding.
Spratt said many disadvantaged people will have trouble
fulfilling the "onerous" process required to apply for a
pardon, including obtaining court records, procuring digital
fingerprints and generally fulfilling all the other
requirements of the 10-step process.
"I don't think it would be unreasonable to just offer
blanket expungements for those offences," Spratt said. "I'm
worried the process ... might still have some
disproportionate impacts on some of the very people you want
JCT: No way Justin's going to admit pot possession shouldn't
have been criminal the way buggery shouldn't have been
Spratt also noted the government said Wednesday a person has
to complete their criminal sentence before applying for a
pardon, which includes paying all fines and victim fine
surcharges that might be associated with a conviction.
"A $500 fine might be something that a more affluent person
can easily pay but if you're living in poverty, and your
drug record is preventing you from moving ahead in a pro-
social way, it might be difficult to pay off those fine
orders before the pardon is available," he said.
JCT: As if silver-spooner Trudeau cares about the poor.
Moreover, even if one is successful in securing a pardon, it
does not mean it will make it easier to cross the Canada-
No guarantees at U.S. border
The U.S. Custom and Border Protection agency was clear
Wednesday: the U.S. recognizes foreign convictions for
something that would be a crime in their country, and it
does not recognize foreign pardons.
JCT: So not only do they ask you if you were charged, not
convicted, you have to admit you were convicted but pardoned
if they ask.
Speaking in Buffalo, Richard Roberts, the CBP assistant
director of border security, said Canadian pardons or
"amnesty" are simply not considered under U.S. border
JCT: But no way Justin's going to expunge your record.
Watch as Public Safety Minister warns Canadians who use
cannabis about issues at the U.S. border:
"They could still be found inadmissible," he said. "Yes the
law has changed [in Canada] but really, at the border, this
is business as usual for us."
But Goodale's office noted, in the case of the U.S. border,
there might actually be an upside to government offering
pardons rather than expungements for cannabis offences.
"If the United States has a record of your expunged
conviction and denies you entry, there will be no records to
retrieve while seeking a waiver to enter the U.S.," a
JCT: What a sleazy response. We're not just going to lock
them up so no one can use them against you, we're going to
destroy them so you can't use them!!! Notice it's what the
government will do that causes the problem. Yeah Justin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Paul Tasker
John Paul (J.P.) Tasker is a reporter in the CBC's