100,000 were eligible, just 257 Canadians have been pardoned for simple pot possession

Pandemic has slowed process

A year ago, when the federal government offered Canadians a fast, free pardon for simple pot possession, as many as 100,000 Canadians were thought to be eligible.

Just 257 have been granted a pardon.

To be fair, only 458 people have applied to the program. Of those, 259 were accepted for consideration, with 257 granted and two discontinued. Another 194 applications were returned because the person was ineligible or the file was incomplete. Five more are being considered.

A parole board official told CBC News the pandemic has slowed the process.

Another factor may be additional charges against some individuals, making them ineligible for a pardon.

Critics wonder why the government doesn’t simply wipe the records clean without having to file a formal application.