Legal cannabis use could still get you banned at the border, U.S. confirms – National

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Canadians could also be banned from coming into the U.S. for legally utilizing marijuana in Canada if a border officer decides that they’re more likely to eat it in the US, American border officers instructed reporters Tuesday.


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“If somebody admits to smoking steadily in Canada, then that can play into the officer’s admissibility resolution about whether or not they suppose, on this particular journey, they’re additionally more likely to interact in smoking marijuana in the US as effectively,” stated Todd Owen, a senior official with U.S. Customs and Border Safety.

“It’s now authorized in Canada, so it comes down as to whether the officer believes they might interact in the identical exercise whereas in the US, based mostly on the intent and function of their journey, versus the authorized engagement inside Canada.”

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Nonetheless, U.S. border officers will make a distinction between whether or not a Canadian’s previous marijuana use was earlier than or after legalization, he stated.

“When they’re questioned by the officer through the interview course of, if unlawful drug use comes up, it might come all the way down to pre-legalization or post-legalization, and the officer will make the corresponding resolution about admissibility based mostly on that.”


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Nonetheless, Owen additionally stated he “wouldn’t anticipate that officers can be routinely asking folks about their marijuana use.”

Owen additionally stated that previous marijuana convictions in Canada would proceed to be a foundation in being banned from the U.S., even when the particular person had later been pardoned in Canada, or if marijuana convictions had been expunged in an amnesty.

“We don’t acknowledge the Canadian amnesty. That may nonetheless make you inadmissible into our nation.”


Canadians might be banned from coming into the US for being an ‘abuser’ of marijuana. Requested how officers would resolve what degree of use constituted abuse, Owen would solely say that if can be “based mostly on the information and circumstances of the inspection, and based mostly on what the officer gleans from the inspection course of.”


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Whereas a rising variety of states have legalized leisure marijuana on the state degree, it stays unlawful on the federal degree, and Canadians might be banned from utilizing it in states corresponding to California or Oregon, or admitting on the border that they plan to.

The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety has refused to reveal what number of Canadians have been banned from coming into the US resulting from marijuana use.

Individuals banned on the U.S. border can apply for a “waiver” to allow them to cross. However the course of is time-consuming, costly — the price lately rose to US$930 — and the method must be began from scratch each few years for the remainder of the particular person’s life.

You’ll be able to obtain an audio file of the information convention right here (18MB .mp3 file).

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