Cannabis is legal. 500,000 Canadians are not.
Legalize us.

It’s been 4 years since cannabis legalization. And while many of us have and continue to the enjoy the benefits of legalization, an estimated 500,000 Canadians with criminal records for cannabis related offences do not.

If you were convicted of simple cannabis possession before 2018—something that is no longer illegal—you are still considered a convicted criminal and may be shut out from employment opportunities, access to loans, travel and in some cases, even the custody of your children.

While Canada was at the forefront of legalization, we’ve fallen far behind when it comes to amnesty and equity. That is why we are fighting to clear cannabis-related criminal records and heal the scars left by the failed war on drugs. Join us today.

Who we are

Named directly after the cause itself, Cannabis Amnesty is an independent, not-for-profit organization focused on righting the historical wrongs caused by decades of cannabis prohibition, particularly its impact on racialized and Indigenous communities who historically, have been overrepresented in cannabis arrests.

It was founded in April 2018 in response to the absence of federal legislation addressing the serious consequences of criminal convictions for actions that would no longer be illegal under the new Cannabis Act. We believed that no one should continue to be punished for something that is no longer illegal.

Since then, Cannabis Amnesty has been working tirelessly to fight for legislative change to address the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition on vulnerable groups. In 2022, we expanded our efforts beyond advocacy, and are building our capacity to offer direct support to individuals and communities harmed by prohibition.

“Together, we will right the wrongs of the past and help thousands of Canadians reclaim their lives.”

500K

Canadians with cannabis records

9x

More Indigenous arrest for cannabis

536

Number of C-93 pardons granted

3%

Industry leaders are Black & Indigenous

Your donation matters

Cannabis Amnesty is at the forefront of addressing the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition on vulnerable and marginalized groups and our efforts are focused on 4 areas:

1. Advocating for Justice Reform: We engage in lobbying efforts that push for justice reform, including full cannabis amnesty, the full decriminalization of cannabis, procedural and substantive legal reform around the prosecution and sentencing of cannabis offences as well as compassionate and health-based solutions to other drug crimes. We also advocate against illegal police actions around detention, search and seizure, and the use of force.

2. Addressing Collateral Consequences of Cannabis Convictions: We develop public educational resources, advocacy campaigns and programming that address barriers to employment, education, housing, travel and volunteer work that exist because of cannabis conviction records.

3. Challenging the Legal Industry: We work with industry leaders to encourage and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry in Canada.

4. Challenging the Social Stigma associated with Cannabis Convictions: We challenge the notion that people who have cannabis convictions on their records are bad people. There are 500,000 of them– they are our neighbours, our friends and our colleagues.

Ongoing & past projects

20April2022
April 20, 2022

Legalize Us Campaign

By Cannabis Amnesty
A public education campaign dedicated to raising awareness of how systemic racism in the enforcement of cannabis laws causes qualified and willing members of marginalized communities to be shut out of employment opportunities. This causes harm not only to these individuals, but to their families and communities, further entrenching systemic racism through poverty and disenfranchisement. 
28March2022
March 28, 2022

TOQi Fellowship for Cannabis Amnesty

By Cannabis Amnesty
In partnership with TOQi and Aurora Cannabis, Cannabis Amnesty is offering two paid summer internships, designed to create economic opportunities for people from communities harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition while increasing Cannabis Amnesty’s capacity to develop groundbreaking advocacy and programming. This Fellowship program is focused on mentorship and skill-building around effective communication and advocacy […]
25March2022
March 25, 2022

Joints for Justice Retail Program

By Cannabis Amnesty
An advocacy and fundraising initiative fuelled by the first cannabis product sold at a provincial distribution board that is dedicated to channeling the profits generated by cannabis legalization towards programs that benefit those most affected by cannabis prohibition. Learn more about this industry-first initiative here.