Last year, a personal injury lawyer attacked a family of immigrants in the parking lot of an Ontario mall because they were speaking Spanish. He accused one man of being a terrorist and broke his ribs with a baseball bat.
The Toronto-based lawyer, Mark Phillips, pled guilty to assault but claimed he was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis. The court gave him a conditional discharge. After serving three years’ probation and doing some community service, he won’t have a criminal record.
Critics denounced the sentence as too lenient and were quick to note that Phillips is the great-grandson of Nathan Phillips, the late Toronto mayor after whom a public square is named. (Nathan Phillips Square forms an expansive courtyard in front of Toronto City Hall.)
The incident also renewed debate about cannabis and psychosis.