Law Professor: Peter MacKay is Misleading Canadians About Pot Laws
Justice Minister Peter MacKay should be forced to apologize and retract his statement that smoking pot is against the law, says an Ottawa lawyer.
University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran has filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, saying MacKay misled Canadians to attack Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau admitted to the Huffington Post recently that he took a drag of a friend’s joint after becoming an MP. MacKay later condemned Trudeau and said “it is currently against the law to smoke dope.”But that’s not true, says Attaran. While trafficking or possessing marijuana is illegal, Attaran says the courts have consistently ruled the act of smoking pot is not a crime.
MacKay is still registered as a lawyer in Nova Scotia and Attaran says he broke the bar society’s code of conduct by misleading the public for partisan reasons.
“That is not conduct that would be acceptable from a small-town lawyer, much less from the attorney general of Canada,” he said.
“It’s really quite reprehensible to misrepresent Parliament’s laws when you have that office.”
MacKay’s office, without mentioning actual smoking of marijuana, quoted the section of the Criminal Code that references possession of the drug.
Bar society executive director Darrel Pink wouldn’t comment on the specific case but said the society looks into every complaint it receives. He downplayed the likelihood of a lawyer facing sanctions for saying smoking pot is illegal.
- Read the entire article at The Chronicle Herald.