While the legalization of cannabis in Canada represents a monumental shift in policy, over 500,000 Canadians will continue to carry the burden of criminal records for simple possession offences – many of them from marginalized communities. Without pardons and record expungement, the negative impact of these records will continue to limit their ability to find housing or employment, to travel, or to volunteer.
Aurora is working hard to help relieve this burden that affects Canadians from coast to coast by making a $50,000 contribution to the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, an organization which advocates for the expungement of criminal records for personal possession cannabis offences that will no longer be illegal after October 17, 2018. Through this initiative, we are reaffirming our commitment to advocating for the amnesty of non-violent cannabis offences while at the same time educating Canadians about the injustices currently in existence as a result of the prohibition of cannabis.
“Aurora strongly believes that the negative socio-economic impact of maintaining criminal records for simple non-violent possession needs to be addressed urgently,” explains Jonathan Zaid, Aurora’s Director of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility. “We look to the Canadian government to provide amnesty to these people, largely from marginalized communities, ensuring their broad exclusion from Canadian society is lifted.” The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is making a very positive contribution towards this much-needed policy change, but there is still a lot of work to be done. That’s why Aurora is proud to support organizations like this one that are leading the way forward.
How can you participate in this initiative?
Through www.CannabisAmnesty.ca, Canadians can take action on this pressing issue by signing a petition. In addition to that, those who have been affected by cannabis criminalization are invited to write about their experiences through the #MyCannabisStory campaign. This is an incredibly valuable opportunity for those who have been directly affected by the cannabis prohibition to share their stories with Canadians from across the country. Together, we can help mitigate the harms caused by decades of cannabis prohibition by building a more equitable national framework for cannabis legalization.