Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his late brother, Michel, was able to avoid a criminal record following marijuana-related charges after his father used some legal connections to make the offences “go away.”
The prime minister made the revelation during a broadcast interview with Vice Media on Monday evening while discussing Canada’s plan to legalize pot.
Trudeau explained in the interview his brother was involved in a car accident while on his way back to Montreal from the West Coast, about six months before Michel died in a B.C. avalanche.
The prime minister said his brother was charged with marijuana possession after police found “a couple of joints” in a Sucrets box while officers were assisting his brother in picking up his belongings from the road following the car accident.
“When he got back home to Montreal, my dad said ‘OK, don’t worry about it.’ He reached out to his friends in the legal community, got the best possible lawyer and was very confident that we were going to able to make those charges go away,” Trudeau said in the Vice interview. “We were able to do that because we had resources, my dad had a couple connections and we were confident that my little brother wasn’t going to be saddled with a criminal record for life.”
Earlier this month, the federal government tabled its long-awaited bill that outlines Ottawa’s plan to legalize recreational weed by July 1, 2018. In the interview with Vice, Trudeau again noted that until recreational pot is legalized, the marijuana-related criminal offences still stand.
The prime minister did, however, say his government will be taking steps to look at those who have a criminal record due to marijuana-related offences.
Once recreational pot is legalized, adults 18 and older would be allowed to publicly possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, or its equivalent in non-dried form – although, provinces would have the option to increase the minimum age.