No amnesty for past pot convictions, Public Safety Minister says

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal plan to legalize recreational marijuana does not include a general amnesty for past pot convictions some are asking for.

Newly tabled legislation would allow people 18 and older to publicly possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, or its equivalent in non-dried form.

But the Trudeau government is not considering a blanket pardon for people with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

The government has also made it clear that the move to legalization by mid-2018 doesn't mean lax law enforcement during the transition period.

Goodale says it's an orderly transition -- not a free-for-all.

The N-D-P has called on the government to immediately decriminalize simple possession to prevent young people from being burdened with criminal records for the rest of their lives.

The C-D Howe Institute, a prominent think-tank, has recommended the government consider pardoning people convicted of pot possession.