The Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty announced that Omar Khan and Melissa Lantsman have joined the Advisory Board for the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty. Cannabis Amnety is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization working to improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who carry the burden of criminal records relating to simple cannabis possession offences. Without amnesty, individuals convicted of possession will continue to face the negative impact of a criminal record for something that will no longer be illegal as of October 17, 2018.
On October 3, 2018, Annamaria Enenajor, Director of Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty stood by NDP MP Murray Rankin as he announced that he would be tabling bill, C-415, An Act to establish a expunging certain cannabis-related convictions. Ms. Enenajor said, “while C-415 has been tabled by the NDP, we firmly believe that cannabis amnesty is a non-partisan issue that attracts the support of Canadians of all political stripes. The fact that both Mr. Khan and Ms. Lantsman have offered us their time and expertise on a pro bono basis is a testament to that. It is now time for our government to act.”
Omar Khan is a seasoned political and public policy professional who served as Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care echoes this sentiment: “As a Liberal who has worked at the highest levels of the Party both federally and at Queen’s Park, I urge the federal government to adopt Murray Rankin’s private member’s bill as government legislation. As we approach October 17th it’s important to recognize that racialized and indigenous communities are overrepresented amongst those incarcerated for simple cannabis possession in this country. It’s time to address this injustice.”
Melissa Lantsman was head of Premier Doug Ford’s 2018 War Room and served as chief spokesperson for the campaign. Prior to that, she served as Caroline Mulroney’s leadership campaign director and held senior roles in the 2008, 2011 and 2015 federal Conservative Party of Canada campaign war rooms. She equally believes that the time has come to make cannabis amnesty a reality in Canada: “As a lifelong Conservative, I support NDP member’s Murray Rankin’s private member’s bill and urge the Liberal government to adopt this bill as government legislation. We need to help the over half million affected Canadians get their life back on track, without the burden of a criminal record for minor possession holding them back — we need to focus on violent and dangerous criminals.”