VANCOUVER, Sept. 13, 2019 /CNW/ - Pasha Brands Ltd. ("Pasha") (CSE: CRFT) (OTC:CRFTF) (FSE:ZZD), Canada's largest craft cannabis brands organization, released a statement today asking for the full expungement of criminal records for those charged under previous cannabis laws. Canada is one of the first countries to admit that prohibition has been a failure and been harmful for people and its economy on a variety of levels.
Earlier this week, stats were released around the expedited pardons for cannabis offences made available under Bill C-93. With only 44 pardons granted to date, the people at Pasha feel this effort is not enough to undo the harms of prohibition. In an article on their website (www.pashabrands.com), Pasha quotes both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and MP Bill Blair discussing the inequality of past enforcement of cannabis laws. It also points to studies showing how this inequality was especially hard on minority communities.
"These laws were applied unfairly," said Pasha Executive Chairman Patrick Brauckmann. "They are still being applied unfairly, and there are people still in jail for cannabis offences." One of the first casualties of cannabis enforcement just one month after legalization was an Indigenous man in Winnipeg, who was sentenced to almost a year in jail for 85 grams of cannabis. Meanwhile they say, authorities turn a blind eye to some Health Canada licence holders who break the rules, like the one that shipped 12,000 kilograms of illegally grown cannabis across the country and to Denmark. That should have resulted in jail time and massive fines, but authorities have not imposed either.
"It's not that we think anyone should go to jail for cannabis; they shouldn't," said Jamie Shaw, Chief Communications and Culture Officer, "but neither should we be continuing the same discrimination and inequality that prohibition enabled." Pardons are not enough she says, explaining that the difference between a pardon, and expungement is that a pardon essentially 'forgives' the person in question. "When the law was wrong, you shouldn't need forgiveness, and it shouldn't continue to affect your life."
John Conroy, a long-time civil rights advocate and lawyer who has been involved in multiple cannabis cases, including the Allard decision that granted patients the right to grow their own cannabis, agrees pardons don't go far enough. He points out that a pardon really means the record is "moved into a different filing cabinet" and that it can be revoked in certain circumstances. "The problem in this day and age is that simply having your name in a digital database associated with some prior conduct can lead authorities to deny you something," he said.
"What we need, if it is at all possible, is a sanitizing of all government digital databases and particularly law enforcement databases, including Customs and Excise," said Conroy. "By searching for the word 'cannabis' or 'marijuana' in all these databases and deleting from them any data or details that are potentially prejudicial simply because of an association to circumstances in which cannabis was involved."
Pasha Brands calls for a proper review of post-prohibition enforcement, citing that people of colour and marginalized individuals in Canada continue to be disproportionately subjected to the enforcement of new cannabis laws, while authorities seem to turn a blind eye to corporate cannabis rule-breakers.
About Pasha Brands
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pasha is a vertically integrated, prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in BC's craft cannabis industry, which boasts an international reputation. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella.
Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada.
Pasha and BC Craft are also developing a craft cannabis campus, which is dedicated to bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada. BC Craft is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market.
Pasha's common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol "CRFT" and on the FSE under the symbol "ZZD".
For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com
Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management.
SOURCE Pasha Brands Ltd.
For further information: Media & Investor Relations Contact: Emerald Asuncion, [email protected], (236) 521-5135