Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau's Marijuana Mea Culpa Sparks the Great Parliamentary Pot Debate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau's Marijuana Mea Culpa Sparks the Great Parliamentary Pot Debate

Article excerpt

Cannabis confession sparks reefer madness

--

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's marijuana mea culpa has sparked some serious reefer madness on Parliament Hill.

Trudeau's confession that he smoked a joint after becoming an MP has put the pot-smoking predilections of politicians -- if any -- under the microscope.

It now seems every parliamentarian is being asked if they've ever fired up a fattie.

Indonesia's foreign minister must have wondered what everyone else was smoking when his Canadian counterpart got the cannabis question Friday.

For the record, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he has stayed away from the drug after seeing a U.S. Supreme Court nominee withdraw after it emerged he had smoked marijuana in college.

"I came of age politically in the 1980s and I can recall when one of President (Ronald) Reagan's nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court had to withdraw because of his use of that substance, so I took my example from that," Baird said.

The question also came up at a news conference with Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

Kenney says he has never smoked a joint -- although he did admit to drinking coffee, a jab at the java-averse Trudeau.

"I'll let Mr. Trudeau's comments and actions speak for themselves," Kenney said, parroting Prime Minister Stephen Harper's response from a day earlier.

"All I can say is, I would like to make a public confession that I do drink coffee."

Alexander chimed in, saying he, too, drinks coffee.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay also got in on the pot pile-on, saying most Canadians expect their elected representatives to stick to the straight and narrow.

"It's currently against the law to smoke dope. I think most Canadians expect that their member of Parliament will obey the law," MacKay said Friday in Halifax.

"But this admission of smoking marijuana, breaking the law, doing so knowingly while he was a member of Parliament -- the politics of this are such that there's an element of hypocrisy of having voted on the record to increase penalties around the same time that he was lighting up. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.