Aurora Cannabis (TSE: ACB), one of the world’s largest marijuana producers, is funding a campaign lobbying Canada’s federal government to clear the criminal records of people convicted of marijuana possession.
Aurora Cannabis announced Monday that it’s donating a sum of $50,000 to the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty.
“This is something that we feel very passionate about,” Cam Battley, Aurora’s Chief Corporate Officer, told television station CTV Toronto during an interview. “Canada’s doing the right thing by legalizing cannabis for consumer use and removing the criminal prohibitions. Now it’s time to clean the records.”
It’s estimated that approximately 500,000 Canadians (with a disproportionate number of Indigenous, visible minorities, and low-income Canadians) have been convicted of marijuana possession for personal use.
“We have a moment of opportunity here for reconciliation, for rationality to come to the fore, to bring in a more just system,” Battley said. “Let’s show the rest of the world the way it should be done – the Canadian way.”
Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty Director Annamaria Enenajour argues the case for reconciliation, stating that the federal government should extend amnesty to people who possessed marijuana while it was illegal.
“These are individuals who have had to pay the price for their conduct at a time when the conduct was illegal,” she said. “The government is now saying it is no longer illegal, but they’re saddled with lifelong consequences.”
In many jurisdictions, marijuana has been decriminalized in Canada for the past decade, meaning that people caught with small quantities of the recreational drug received a fine rather than a criminal conviction.