Canadians traveling to the United States risk getting banned from entering the States if they admit to smoking cannabis to the US Customs and Border Protection officials.
This law is not unique or specific to Canadians, but it is rarely enforced and the officials are not likely to ask you whether you smoked cannabis, unless you are Canadian.
That’s right, Americans have finally found a way to discriminate against Canadians and it’s not based on the amount of maple syrup we put on pancakes.
Does anyone even bother asking?
Amazingly, yes. Cases are rare, but they are no exception to the rule.
In fact, as time progresses, we believe the border officials will tend to enforce this rule more, as there is a lot of money hiding in the fines.
Since about 400,000 people cross the US and Canada border every day, that means that about fifty thousand cannabis smokers go to the US, or back to Canada, every day.
If you do enjoy cannabis from time to time you are required to report this to the US Customs and Border Protection officials.
The US Customs and Border Protection officials then may issue you an entry waiver which is nearly $600 USD, and it lasts for five years.
The waiver expires in five years and you’ll have to re-apply if you plan on visiting the US after the waiver has expired in order to maintain your permission to enter the US.
What if you lie?
Well, lying is never a great option, especially if you are caught lying. Worst case scenario — you get caught lying to the cops.
Moving cannabis across the border is still strictly illegal, so the officials at the border are required to ask if you are transporting the drugs.
If you choose to omit the truth, or you forgot that you have weed on you, this question is made to remind you of the fact that you are about to commit an illegal act by crossing the border with it.
If you are caught on the American side with weed, there is a likely chance that you are going to jail.
On the other hand, you may get a life ban from entering the States if you are somehow connected to the booming cannabis industry, and you point this out to the officers at the border.
The worst case of “cannabis discrimination” so far has been recorded a few months ago, when Jay Evans, CEO of agricultural equipment manufacturer Keirton Inc was arrested while at the border.
He was crossing along with two of his colleagues, one of which mentioned that they work on technology which was supposed to streamline labor costs for cannabis producers.
As they worked on something that is considered as a part of the “drug trafficking business” they all got barred for life.
Canadian Ministry of Public safety reminds its citizens that those “who wish to enter the United States or any other country must adhere to its laws.”
Will crossing the border take longer?
OK, border crossings will definitely take longer, but that’s not the biggest issue.
The biggest issue might come from the hassle of crossing the border and dealing with the police that constantly thinks you’re smuggling weed.
You know how crossing the border is always sketchy and you’re afraid that something’s gonna go wrong? Well, now one more thing can go wrong, only you’ll suffer fewer consequences.
Before crossing any border make sure you leave your cannabis behind. Same goes for medical marijuana, just leave it at home for the duration of your trip.