Is it time to change the Cannabis act?
Posted June 9, 2023 8:33 am.
Currently, Canada’s federal government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the legislation that legalized recreational marijuana. While the basic aspects of the act are expected to remain largely unchanged, the review presents an opportunity to improve the system and make it more fair for everyone.
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, associate professor of criminal justice at University of Toronto and co-author of Waiting to Inhale: Cannabis Legalization and the Fight for Racial Justice, says legalization lacked measures to repair the harms of cannabis-related convictions. “I think the biggest oversight was really the lack of acknowledgment of the impact that drug prohibition and cannabis prohibition had on Indigenous, Black and other marginalized communities, period,” says Owusu-Bempah.
Various aspects of the legal cannabis industry, including the pardon process, licenses, and overseeing boards, resemble the days of prohibition in one way–a lack of racial justice and the inability to provide true amnesty to individuals who deserve it. Will Canada’s review address these issues and implement change?
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