With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, many people are wondering what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians that have a criminal record for pot possession or any other marijuana and cannabis offence.
Having this criminal record for pot possession creates huge obstacles in a person’s life. Particularly when it comes to traveling to the US.
You will get denied entry to the US if you have a criminal record for pot regardless of how small the amount was and how long ago the offence. The Americans have a zero tolerance when it comes to marijuana and especially now that it is legal in Canada they are even more strict. Once you are denied entry to the US due to a drug offence, you will require a US Entry Waiver to get back into the country which can take over 12 months and can be very expensive as well as the application process being very complicated.
It is estimated that 500,000 Canadians have marijuana possession convictions which makes them ineligible to travel to the US and also for getting employment opportunities. The cost for enforcing cannabis possession in Canada has been staggering, in the billions of dollars each year.
If the federal government does not issue a blanket pardon for pot possession offences which is highly unlikely considering how complicated each process is, then individuals must continue to make an application for a pardon or record suspension in order to remove the criminal record from public record.
Once a pardon is granted, as long as you have never been stopped by the Americans in the past, you should be safe to travel without worry of being denied entry due to your pardoned pot possession offence.
Here is a recent article entitled “500,000 Canadians Have Old Criminal Records for Pot Possession. Trudeau won’t commit to Pardon them.”