Kelowna-based licensed cannabis producer (LP) Doja Cannabis Co. has partnered with a non-profit organization, Cannabis Amnesty, to pressure the federal government into absolving Canadians of minor weed-related charges.
“There are currently 500,000 Canadians across the country that, over the last few decades, have been charged with minor, non-violent, cannabis-related convictions. These convictions potentially prevent these people from getting meaningful employment, being able to rent a home, or volunteer. It drastically impacts their quality of life,” says Doja’s portfolio director Natalie Wallace in an interview with the Straight.
“Come October 17, when it’s now legalized across Canada, the question we’re asking is: what happens to these people?”
The two organizations have launched an educational and advocacy-based program, called Pardon, and they’re taking it on the road. Today, the Pardon pop-up truck is parked outside of Whole Foods on Robson Street until 6:00 p.m. (PT). Wallace says the group has gathered over 100 new signatures in the first two hours, and hope to double that by the end of the day.
The group's goal is to collect 10,000 signatures for their petition, which Cannabis Amnesty can then use to plea for the expungement of criminal records for personal possession offences that will no longer be illegal after October 17.
They are also selling a handful of minimalist-style products, like stash bags and t-shirts, with all proceeds going to fund the daily operations at Cannabis Amnesty. The non-profit is currently a volunteer-run organization made up of lawyers and advocates.
Wallace says Doja’s choice to partner with Cannabis Amnesty was based on shared values and hopes the partnership will convince the government that it is time to mass pardon Canadians charged with minor weed offences.
“Doja, as a brand, really believes in championing the values of the community and really making sure that we’re following our hearts to do the right thing. For us, as we look at this issue, we see it as a question of fairness,” she says.
Doja is owned by Canopy Growth Corp., one of Canada’s largest federally licensed producers. Aurora Cannabis, another Canadian LP, also partner with the non-profit organization to support their efforts in August.
To snag your Pardon crew neck and sign the petition, the truck will be parked at various locations across the city throughout the weekend. Next week, Pardon will head up to Kelowna, B.C. To track the truck’s location, follow @Pardon.Life on Instagram.
The petition and merchandise are also available on their website.More