For Canadian and US pot consumers, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the border between the two neighbors. When crossing the border, whether you’re American or Canadian, you are highly likely to face some difficulties if you have so much as smoked pot just once in your lifetime. This particular issue is somewhat ridiculous, and to put it mildly, any person with a shred of common sense will find it frustrating and irrelevant.
According to some Canadian lawyers, U.S. border patrol officers asking Canadians entering the United States whether they have smoked pot wasn’t as frequently posed as it is nowadays. Moreover, legal experts warn that officers at the border essentially conduct an interrogation and are even going so far as threatening a drug test or a lie detector test, which they have no right to perform. A slap in the face is that all of that appears to be a mere exercise of power as the officers in question have a lot of leeway in the process of accessing whether a foreign individual can be admitted into the country.
Even athletes are not exempt from these rigid rules. One example of this is Canadian Olympic snowboarding champion Ross Rebagliati who was denied entry into the U.S. after his own marijuana mishap. The Canadian government has even published a warning on its website for those who intend to travel to the United States.
Additionally, Canadians can have their phones searched without probable cause upon entering the U.S. They may be present while their phone is being searched but they may not look at the screen. You may refuse to give them your password and in turn, they can seize your phone for five days or longer. You must also be informed of the reason for the search.
The warning that has been reported in the news and jumps off the page is that Canadians could even be barred for life from entering the U.S. The routine questions Canadians will face at the border remain unchanged, but if an officer at the border has any suspicion that may stem from any behavioral clues, aroma, or the slightest amount of marijuana residue, more invasive questions will follow and things are likely to go south from there.
Keep in mind that those of you who plan to visit the U.S. with weed in your possession will face harsher penalties, either a fine or an arrest, or even both. A final piece of advice for those who treat their medical condition with marijuana, you may not take any amount of your medicinal marijuana over the border as the same set of rules applies even in this instance. Much of this has to do with the U.S. federal law which is still in effect despite the fact that a number of states have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal use.
Of course, Americans who plan to go to Canada face the same prohibitions and possible sanctions should they chose to disregard the reciprocal Canadian border laws. Taking marijuana or any marijuana product over the Canadian border is illegal and can result in criminal penalties, even though if you’re coming from the state of California where both medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal. If you happen to have marijuana or marijuana product on you while crossing the border, you must declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency. If you fail to do so, you can be arrested and prosecuted. Even when you’re leaving Canada, you may not take any marijuana or marijuana products with you over the border, otherwise, you’ll face criminal penalties.
Finally, if you use marijuana, either recreationally or medicinally, make sure to acquaint yourself with marijuana laws of the country you’re traveling to. Hopefully, a comprehensive piece of legislation will emerge in the foreseeable future and make life easier for marijuana users. Until then, err on the side of caution.