There are so many amazing things that will open up for Canada after federal legalization of the cannabis plant. However, one thing that will not be more lax is crossing at the U.S. Border. In the past, the U.S. Customs Officers at border crossings have banned Canadians who admit to using cannabis. After October 17th, more Canadians who cross the Canada-U.S. border will be asked this uncomfortable and ridiculous question.
In a recent article by CBC News Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer practicing in Blaine, Washington, shed some light on exactly what U.S. Customs agents are able to pull at the border. Although medical and recreational marijuana are both legal in some U.S. states and very soon in Canada, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana remain illegal under U.S. federal law.
We have heard story after story about what goes on at the borders. Customs officers are known to use intimidation to get people to admit to having smoked cannabis at some point in their lives. What the officers will do is interrogate Canadians at the border telling them that they will perform a drug test, interrogate them using a lie detector, and will threaten arrest if they conclude an individual lied to them; none of this is true. These are just tactics used to intimidate Canadians into admitting to using cannabis and they do not have jurisdiction to carry out any of these invasive actions.
The best way for Canadians to deal with this issue is to be proactive, stay calm and avoid falling for a border agents empty threats.
Cara Wietstock is a native Californian living in Washington state with almost a decade of budtender experience and even more stoner experience. While she's not pontificating on the current state of cannabis for Roottie, she is practicing yoga, sipping CBD infused teas and hiking through the Pacific Northwest.