CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A law professor has accused Justice Minister Peter MacKay of misleading the public by saying Justin Trudeau broke the law by smoking pot.
While it is illegal to grow, traffic or possess marijuana, smoking weed is not a criminal offence.
University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran has written to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society asking that they investigate MacKay, a former provincial Crown prosecutor and, as the current Attorney General of Canada, the person charged with enforcing the rules of the land, for unprofessional conduct as a lawyer.
In reacting to a Huffington Post Canada story, in which the Liberal leader admitted to having taken a puff of a joint while sitting as an MP, MacKay repeatedly told the media that Trudeau broke the law.
"It’s currently against the law to smoke dope," MacKay said last week, in statements carried by CTV News.
In a letter obtained by HuffPost, Attaran told the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society that MacKay appeared to have set out to attack Trudeau for partisan political purposes by accusing him in bad faith of "an imaginary criminal offence that does not actually exist."
"It is unprofessional for any lawyer — and reprehensible when the lawyer is also the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada — to mislead the public about the state of Parliament’s laws," Attaran wrote.
Attaran said the Attorney General is supposed to discharge of his duties independently, and free from partisan influence, in order for the public to have confidence in the justice system.
Attaran said he believes a correction of the misstatements, and a contrite public apology for misleading Canadians about the law would be sufficient enough punishment for MacKay.
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