Economy

Border official: Canadians entering U.S. risk lifetime ban for marijuana use

Border official: Canadians entering U.S. risk lifetime ban for marijuana use

Buying or working in the marijuana industry might be legal in Canada next month but according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office you will be denied entry to the United States of America.

As cannabis in the US continues to be normalized by the growing amount of domestic legal industries, it seems as though moves like these will continue to be in opposition to what the majority of the USA wants, and clearly what Canada would like to see.

Should a traveller admit to past use, he will be found to be "inadmissible" to the U.S.

While the interview generated headlines on both sides of the border, people in the industry say the threat of a travel ban has existed for years. US officials also warn that any form of participation in the sector could likewise cause someone to be turned away, signaling potential problems for investors.

"But there is no question that we are working with USA officials; they have legalized marijuana in a number of their states, and we're trying to make sure that travel between our two countries (is) not disrupted".

Employment lawyer Howard Levitt says workers in Canada's cannabis sector who don't want to run the risk of being banned permanently from entering the United States should consider finding a new job.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday Canada is working with USA officials try to make sure travel between the two countries is not disrupted. But users, growers, even investors could be barred from entering the US for life.

The rub is that it's illegal to have smoked the drug in Canada before October 17, and it's illegal to lie to any border agent who asks about it.

Another official said those participating in the marijuana business may be turned away at the border. "And I certainly won't work to assume or impress upon the USA who they have to let in or not", Trudeau said at a CBC radio station in Manitoba earlier this week.

Overzealous border agents could encourage even more Canadians to stay home, at a time when President Donald Trump is targeting the country in trade negotiations. That means treating marijuana users like criminals and those who work in the marijuana industry like drug traffickers, even if they aren't trying to bring any of the stuff into the states.

McLeod is calling on Ottawa to strike an arrangement with the USA government to ensure that Canadians participating in the soon-to-be-legal industry can travel freely between the two nations.

According to Politico, whether or not the traveller enters the United States, a record will be kept by the border agency and that traveller will not be allowed to return to the US.


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