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Are you eligible for a marijuana possession pardon?

Posted by Daniel K. Topp on 21 February 2019
Are you eligible for a marijuana possession pardon?

If you received a marijuana possession charge before October 17, 2018, you faced 6 months in jail for up to 30 grams of product prior to other related offences including trafficking, intent to traffic or production.

In 2016, approximately 55,000 Canadians were charged with possession of cannabis. So, what happens to them now that the substance has been decriminalized and legalized?

The government is pledging to waive both the standard waiting period and fee for a pardon with no clear timeline. Though this won't completely remove the crime from a person's criminal record, it does separate it from other criminal records. Because there is no clear timeline, and with standard record suspension processing times of 6-12 months, it's too early to say what the future holds for those convicted of possession charges.

You can, however, start the process with these 10 steps & documents required for a record suspension application:


1. Your Criminal Record

This step requires electronic fingerprint submission through a police service of a company with an electronic submission device. Once complete, you will receive your Criminal Record.


2. Your Court Information

Proof of fine payments, restitution, convictions and methods of trial for each conviction are required for this step.


3. Military Conduct Sheet

This step is only necessary for either former or current members of the Canadian armed forces. You will need a signed and dated copy of your conduct sheet.


4. Local Police Record Checks

These documents are only valid for 6 months after being issued, so make sure to keep this in mind. You'll need police record checks for the city/town you currently live in, as well as previous cities/towns of residence where you lived for more than 3 months in the last 5 years.


5. Proof of Citizenship or Immigration

Of course, you'll need proof that you are a Canadian citizen or appropriate immigration documents. These documents must be valid and current.


6. Photocopy of Identity Proof

You will require a government-issued proof of ID that includes your name, signature and date of birth. When providing this document, make sure it's a clear photocopy not an original.


7. Schedule 1 Exception Form (if convicted of a Schedule 1 offence)

If you have been convicted for a Schedule 1 offence, you will need to complete and submit the Exception Form. Schedule 1 includes sexual offences involving a child, and are not necessary for marijuana possession.


8. Record Suspension Application Form

Fill out the Record Suspension Application Form legibly using blue or black ink and only block letters. Additional pages are permitted should you need more space. This form is only valid for 6 months.


9. Measurable Benefits / Sustained Rehabilitation Form

Download this form and complete all sections. The purpose of this form is to show how a pardon will benefit your rehabilitation into society.


10. Pay Record Suspension Application Processing Fee

At this step or stage, you'll want to make sure you have all the required forms outlined above, as well as the processing fee which is currently $631.

A pardon may help get your life back on track; however, it does not equate to expungement or free travel into countries like the United States.


If you have any questions or need assistance with the documents for a marijuana record suspension application, contact the law offices of Daniel Topp today. We'll be glad to help get you back on track and keep your record clean.

Author: Daniel K. Topp
About: For the better part of 20 years, my law office has been serving residents of Southwestern Ontario, including Windsor, Essex, Chatham and Sudbury by offering strong legal representation in criminal matters. Practicing criminal law has always been my passion, even from childhood. Growing up, I had a chance to watch my father, a seasoned criminal lawyer, serve the legal system. This was what inspired me to pursue a career in the same field. Over the years, I had a chance to observe, learn and receive guidance from him. After working hard at University and then Law School, I entered the legal profession at the young age of 23, and have been practising nothing but criminal law since. I have lived and breathed criminal defence law my whole life. And now with over 15 years of experience in this field, vigorously defending my clients I am in a unique position to assist you. If you need help, please contact my office today.

602-374 Ouellette Ave.
Windsor, ON N9A 1A8

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