Canadian central bank says 'Spocking' of former PM Wilfred Laurier on $5 bill not illegal

The death of actor Leonard Nimoy last week has inspired people to post photos on social media of marked-up five-dollar Canadian banknotes that show former prime minister Wilfrid Laurier transformed to resemble Spock, Nimoy's famous "Star Trek" character.

For years, Canadians have been wielding pens to draw Spock's pointy Vulcan ears, sharp eyebrows and signature bowl haircut on the fiver's image of Laurier, Canada's first Francophone prime minister.

Canada's central bank said this week it's not illegal to deface or even mutilate banknotes, although there are laws that prohibit reproducing a current bill electronically.

Nonetheless, bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard calls scribbling on bills inappropriate because it defaces a Canadian symbol and source of national pride. Menard says defaced bills may not circulate for as long and risk being rejected.