Last week’s decision in the Allard case was considered a victory by cannabis activists, but the level of confusion surrounding the legalization process continues to climb higher. After the decision last week, we noted Bill Blair saying that even though he found the number of Canadians being arrested for cannabis to be “shocking”, he will enforce the current laws on the books regarding cannabis.
Another important point that Blair made last week was that the issue of pardoning Canadians with previous cannabis convictions was not on his radar at all. “That is not currently under discussion. It is not being contemplated at this time,” he said.
This runs counter to what Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, previously said about the issue. She said that “We will certainly look to have more to say about how we’re going to move forward… this includes actually having conversations… with different levels of government and ensuring we speak to Canadians who have been impacted.”
Blair’s comments might be adding confusion to those who are looking forward to legalization finally happening. Canadians with criminal records due to cannabis are surely confused as well, as Blair’s position differs from the Justice Minsiter even though both are in the same party. We also mentioned how the trucking industry is in desperate need of more drivers, and they expect pardons to help fill this void.
Murray Rankin, NDP MP, notes the confusion about the laws and the inconsistencies of offenses. “It doesn’t seem fair to me that a mother will write to me and say ‘my son’s got a conviction for possession of marijuana’ and in other parts of the country it’s pretty hard to get charged with possession… I don’t think that’s right,” Rankin said.
The cannabis community is celebrating the Allard case, but they will still be grappling with the confusion of the legalization process and how it will play out.