In the wake of the federal government’s introduction of legislation to legalize marijuana, Common Law’s Professor Steven Hoffman has been sharing his expertise on the topic with a wide range of government officials and media outlets, serving as an outstanding example of uOttawa research in action.
Last month, students from the Faculty of Law’s Global Health Law Clinic, under the guidance of Professor Hoffman, published a path-breaking report on the legalization of cannabis in Canada, identifying international legal barriers the government could face in its effort to regulate the substance, and proposing innovative solutions. As the report explains, Canada’s current international legal obligations are incompatible with its plans to legalize and regulate the use and possession of non-medical cannabis. The students, along with Professor Hoffman, briefed Global Affairs Canada lawyers on the report at the end of April.
Professor Hoffman also recently met with the federal health minister, Jane Philpott, about how Canada can meet its international legal obligations under the UN drug control treaties, and he will soon be meeting the Foreign Minister on this same issue.
Relatedly, the topic of marijuana use has been frequently in the news since the government’s legislation came to light. Professor Hoffman has been a go-to voice for commentary:
- He explains how Canada’s political priorities run up against our international legal obligations in an article on ipolitics.ca;
- He addresses how legalizing cannabis creates increased opportunities for it to find its way into the hands of children in an interview with the Canadian Press;
- And in an op-ed for The Globe and Mail, he discusses the collateral damage of legalizing marijuana.
Keep an eye out for future commentary from Professor Hoffman as this topic continues to be ripe for debate.