Should the federal Liberals create a blanket pardon for past pot possession, if legislation passes to legalize marjuana in Canada?
Possessing or selling marijuana is illegal at the moment, and people caught breaking the law will be punished. One can’t operate on the premise that ‘oh, possession of marijuana is probably going to be legalized next year, so no one’s going to mind if I walk around with a few joints in my pocket.’
The law doesn’t work that way. Law enforcement officers aren’t going to slack off just because some politicians are debating something that may change as law in 2018.
Just ask someone who lives in Washington State or Colorado who try to come across the Canadian border with marijuana in their possession: it may be legal in their states, but it isn’t here, and they must follow the letter of the law in our country or pay the price.
As public safety minister Ralph Goodale said recently, ‘this must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all.’
If someone wants to avoid a criminal record for pot possession, they can follow the law. When the law changes, they won’t have to worry about a pardon because possession of a certain amount will be legal.
At some point, you have to say the past must stay in the past. There can be no grace period, no grey area.
Otherwise, where would the law stop with pardons?
— Alberni Valley News