If you’ve got a simple pot possession, you’re in luck, there is a whole new pardon system set up for you. Canadians now have a free and expedited way to apply for a pardon for simple cannabis possession. Getting a pot pardon (cannabis record suspension) is an excellent way to start fresh, with a cannabis record suspension (pot pardon) you will have better access to employment, housing, travel, and volunteering opportunities.

Legalization of recreation cannabis last fall meant the federal government also had to establish a fair way to help those Canadians who had simple cannabis possession charges on their record. Bill C-93 promises Canadians to waive the $631 pardon fee and the usual 5-10 year wait time which accompanies a typical record suspension (Canadian pardon).

If you are looking to do it yourself here are the steps you need to take to get a Cannabis Record Suspension:

Step 1: Get your criminal record.

Get your fingerprints taken by visiting an accredited fingerprinting company or a police service that can submit your fingerprints electronically. You must state clearly that you are applying for a cannabis record suspension.

Wait to receive your criminal record which lists your convictions, conditional and absolute discharges or a Certificate of No Criminal Record from the RCMP.

Make sure to check over your criminal record to ensure all relevant possession of cannabis convictions are included. It is your responsibility to report all your convictions to the Parole Board of Canada.

Step 2: Get your local police records check.

You must get a local police records check for:

  • The city or town where you live now (your current address); AND
  • For each city or town where you lived during the last 5 years (if you lived in that place for 3 months or more).

To get a local police records check fill in all questions on page 1 of the Local Police Records Check Form. Photocopy it for each local police service you contact.

Step 3: Get your court information (if required).

If your criminal record or local police records check(s) clearly show you were convicted only of simple possession of cannabis, and your only sentence was a fine or victim surcharge or both, you do not need to obtain your court information.

If your criminal record or local police record check(s) does not clearly show that you were convicted only of simple possession of cannabis and that your sentence was only a fine or victim surcharge or both, you MUST obtain your court information. This must include proof of payment for any restitution or compensation order (including date of final payment).

Answer questions 1 to 6 on the Court Information Form. Make copies of the form in case you need to provide the same information to another court.

Contact the court that heard your case. If you were sentenced in more than one court, you must ask each of them to complete the form. Give each court a copy of your criminal record and ask them to fill in the section “For Court Use Only”. Be sure your court information reflects your criminal record.

Step 4: Get your military conduct sheet. If you are not a current or past member of the Canadian Forces, go to Step 5.

If you are a current or past member of the Canadian Forces (Regular or Reserve) you must get a certified, signed and dated copy of your Military Conduct Sheet. If no conduct sheet exists, you must provide a letter from your Commanding Officer or the appropriate organization, which indicates that no information is available.

Step 5: Fill in the Cannabis Record Suspension Application Form.

You must use the Cannabis Record Suspension Application Form.

Make sure you have:

  • Answered all questions on both sides of the form;
  • Answered all questions truthfully and completely;
  • Signed and dated the form. As the applicant, the form must be signed by you;
  • Included a photocopy of an ID document (federal, provincial or municipal) with your name, date of birth and signature;
  • Photocopied all of your application documents for your own records and future reference.

The Parole Board of Canada must be able to contact you now and in the future. If they cannot contact you or verify your information, your application may not be processed. If your mailing address changes, you must send the Parole Board of Canada a letter with your new mailing address. This letter should include:

  • Your name
  • Your Record Suspension Application Personal Reference Number
  • Your new mailing address
  • Your signature. As the applicant, the letter must be signed by you.

Send the letter to:

Parole Board of Canada
Clemency and Record Suspension Division
410 Laurier Avenue West, 5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R1

Even after you receive a cannabis record suspension, you must continue to advise the Parole Board of Canada of a change in your address.

Answer all questions on the Cannabis Record Suspension Application Form.

If you do not answer all the questions on both sides of the form, the Parole Board of Canada will return your application and documents.

Make sure you check over each step before sending off your application. Be sure to include all original copies of documentation.

It is important to remember many application come back denied due to small administrative errors. Applying for a Pot Pardon (cannabis record suspension) can be time-consuming if you need experienced help AllCleared can help you with any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us for a FREE consultation. It’s time to start fresh, today.