Have you ever waved a stick and pretended to turn someone into a frog? Ever tried to fly around on a broomstick? Have you ever tested to see if any of the magic spells from Harry Potter actually worked? Well, I have some news for you, you have been breaking federal law.
Canada has a long history, and with a long-running government comes some out-dated laws. The law in question involves it being illegal for someone to pretend to practice witchcraft, sorcery, and fortune telling. Section 365 of Canada’s criminal code reads:
Every one who fraudulently
(a) pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration,
(b) undertakes, for a consideration, to tell fortunes, or
(c) pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner anything that is supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found,
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
The outdated law may seem funny but, some argue that it is in place to protect average citizens from potential scams. Last year one Toronto officer made an arrest on account of this very law, despite the last prosecution being 30 to 40 years ago.
Well, do not worry cosplayers and Halloween witches because the House of Commons recently passed a new bill that will kick off an initiative to repeal archaic laws like this one. Senate is expected to make a final decision on the fate of this law and others later this year.
Until then, keep your wands and other magic paraphernalia hidden behind your soon-to-be-legal marijuana.