Advocating for Cannabis Amnesty

DiGiuseppe Law is working with the Civil Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty to target discriminatory aspects of Bill C-45 The Cannabis Act.

The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is in favour of the legalization of Cannabis, but wants to ensure that the Cannabis industry is regulated in a manner that respects diversity and human rights.

The current legislation does not permit anyone who has had a criminal conviction in the last ten years from becoming a licensed producer of Cannabis. Cannabis Amnesty is concerned that this part of the legislation disproportionately excludes racialized, low-income, and Aboriginal Canadians from the legal Cannabis industry.  One commonly cited statistic shows that black Torontonians are three times as likely to be arrested for simple possession of marijuana, despite equal rates of use between black and white Torontonians. As a result, legislation that excludes anyone with a criminal record, without making an exception for individuals with a single conviction for simple possession of Cannabis, has the effect of discriminating against these segments of the Canadian population.

Stephanie DiGiuseppe attended a recent town hall on this issue, hosted by MP Bill Blair. When she questioned Bill Blair about what the government was doing to ensure that Bill C-45 does not discriminate against vulnerable segments of the Canadian population, Mr. Blair responded that the government was concerned about this issue and would be addressing it, after consultation with the public. Public Consultation on the legislation ended January 20th, 2018.

You can read more about the town hall, and Stephanie's comments to the press on this issue, here: Legal weed will prevent youth criminalization, MP Bill Blair says