Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jan 2018
Source: Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Sun Media
Author: Larry Comeau
Page: A4


Re: "Amnesty for marijuana busts discussed at Liberal retreat," Jan. 12.

It seems that when it comes to getting pot users votes, the Trudeau
government will do anything. That is why we are about to legalize pot,
with the many unintended harmful consequences that will mean for our
children and the degradation of our cities from pot tourism. No
government should contemplate retroactively erasing records that
resulted from laws that were legally passed by Parliament. Doing this
would mean opening a Pandora's box, whereby others who also committed
crimes they believe did not warrant criminal convictions will want
their records erased. A dangerous precedent would be set by such a
politically motivated move.

Having enforced Canada's drug laws for over two decades, I know the
police did not specifically target pot users, but traffickers. Anyone
arrested with small amounts of pot usually was given conditional or
absolute discharges, meaning no criminal records. This would seem to
indicate for those with convictions for pot that there must have been
other circumstances, meaning granting carte blanche amnesty would be
an affront to our justice system. Everyone has the option to apply for
a pardon, during which the circumstances surrounding a conviction will
be reviewed. Justin Trudeau already usurped the court's authority by
paying Omar Khadr $10 million, without a civil trial. I do hope he
will not repeat that mistake and erase records for pot convictions
without reviewing the circumstances. Applying rules retroactively is a
dangerous game, tending to undermine our justice system.

Larry Comeau

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