CANADA'S MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION NETWORK
The Canadian government has been very guarded in the details of its plans for regulating cannabis for recreational purposes. From the little that has been said in the media by point person Bill Blair there appears to be no plan for amnesty for those with past marijuana-related criminal convictions – not even for simple possession. These individuals will continue to be chaffed by the yoke of Canada’s past harsh drug laws. As California prepares to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes in late autumn 2016, the City of Oakland is taking a very different approach. It wants to help former cannabis sellers to make the transition to legitimate business. A policy under development will ensure that some of the new legal permits to sell cannabis go to local applicants with previous cannabis charges, who will also be eligible for lower license fees and tax credits. One city councilwoman described the policy as a means of ‘reparation’ for the victims of the war on drugs.
But they were breaking the law !!!
Proceeding cautiously is right.
True, they were breaking the law, But that's not truly relevant if they harmed no one and if, as the case may be soon proven, the law was wrong to begin with. Thankfully there have always been individuals who "broke laws" to help society advance. There has been increasing support worldwide to end the "war on drugs" as many now feel that it has been an enormous waste of money and resources, including many in law enforcement. Sometimes it takes small individuals to bring about major change. Laws such as Segregation in the US or Apartheid in South Africa are now viewed as wrong and immoral and without individuals who broke those laws and helped bring about societal change, they would still be laws and people would still be suffering. I don't feel that anyone who broke the law by selling drugs was suffering but the assertion that "they broke the law" doesn't mean that these individuals who were perhaps brave enough to do so should be barred from contributing in a meaningful fashion today.