Metro Morning

Justin Trudeau's advice to Torontonian with possession charges confirmed his fears of 'unfair' system

Trudeau told story about his late brother Michel getting out of possession charges thanks to father Pierre Trudeau’s help.

Trudeau told story about his late brother getting out of charges thanks to Pierre Trudeau’s help

Malik Scott told CBC Radio's Metro Morning that Justin Trudeau's response to his request for advice about his marijuana possession charges didn't seem like a direct answer. (Vice/CBC)

The 22-year-old Torontonian who asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau what he should do about his marijuana possession charges told CBC Radio's Metro Morning Wednesday the answer he got struck him as "deflective."

Malik Scott was charged with possession after police found a small amount of pot in his jacket pocket.

At a town hall event hosted by Vice Media, Scott asked the prime minister what he should do about those charges given that legalization is around the corner.

"I have to recognize, there's a lot of unfairness to Canadians in the current approach," Trudeau responded before sharing a story about his late brother Michel, who also faced possession charges almost 20 years ago after police found a few joints in his car after an accident.

"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 he was going to be able to make those charges go away," Trudeau said.

Trudeau on pardons and his late brother getting charged for pot possession

5 years ago
Duration 2:29
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at a town hall hosted by Vice News

"I think the whole situation with his father getting his brother out of all his charges is really unfair for everyone who doesn't have those type of connections, which is the majority of people," said Scott, adding that he felt that the story wasn't really a direct answer to his question.

Still, he said he did appreciate the prime minister's attempt to recognize his own family's privilege.

"I think he said that to make a point that the justice system is flawed, he knows that," said Scott.

As for whether he can hope for amnesty in the months to come, Trudeau told him he would "start a process where we try and look at how we are going to make things fairer for those folks [with charges] and for you."

The first priority, said Trudeau, is to legalize and change the legislation to "fix what's broken."

Trudeau also dismissed the idea of decriminalizing marijuana before legalization and returned to a point he's made in the past — until recreational weed is legal, the current law stands.

That leaves Scott with the same anxiety as he had before the town hall: he's concerned that being found guilty would be "horrible" for his future and prevent him from getting the kind of job he wants.

With files from Metro Morning