Seth Rogen joins movement urging Canada to expunge simple cannabis possession charges

Celebrity and co-owner of Canadian cannabis company Houseplant Seth Rogen is adding his voice to a growing movement calling on the Canadian government to expunge simple cannabis possessions.

Rogen took to his Instagram on 4-20 (April 20) to urge his Canadian followers to contact their MPs to push for expungement.

“420 is also about activism and I’d like to bring awareness to some of the injustices that revolve around cannabis in Canada,” Rogen wrote.

“Canadians deserve freedom, not forgiveness,” he continued. “The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty is asking for your help to put pressure on the Canadian government to amend Bill C-93 so that it provides for the expungement of criminal records and not merely their suspension. Let the Canadian government know you stand behind the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty. Email your MP today:”

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In March, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale introduced a bill to “provide no-cost, expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis.”

But many argue the bill doesn’t go far enough, saying expungement is what’s truly needed.

Last December, the NDP urged the Liberals to erase criminal records for cannabis possession.

“Instead of supporting a bill I introduced to expunge—that is, to completely erase—criminal records for simple cannabis possession, the Liberal government only committed to introducing a bill sometime next year that would create an expedited, free pardon system,” said NDP Justice Critic Murray Rankin last December after introducing a bill calling for expungement of such convictions.

“But I don’t see how they will be able to pass legislation they haven’t even created yet by the next election,” said Rankin at the time. “Cannabis has been legal for over a month, yet thousands of Canadians continue to struggle with the burdens of a criminal record. Why is this government insisting they wait even longer?”

READ MORE: Canada’s Public Safety Minister to table bill to launch free, expedited cannabis pardons

Other calls have been made, and a “Pardon Truck” campaign was launched earlier this year by Cannabis Amnesty and licensed cannabis producer DOJA.

The group aims to collect 10,000 signatures for a petition to take to Ottawa.

According to a 2014 study titled Cannabis policy framework, Canada spends more than a billion dollars annually to enforce cannabis possession laws, “arresting about 60,000 Canadians for simple possession, [which is] nearly 3% of all arrests.”

It also found that at least 500,000 Canadians carry a criminal record for pot possession.