Canadian Cannabis Users
Canadian Cannabis Users

Canadians Who Admit Cannabis Use Can Be Banned From The USA For Life

Admitting Cannabis Use To a Border Guard Can Be Costly

Posted by:
HighChi on Thursday Jun 28, 2018

Canadians Who Admit Cannabis Use Can Be Banned From The USA For Life

Banned for Life? Canadians Who Admit Cannabis Use Could Banned from the USA from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


The world will be watching as we approach October 17, the date when recreational cannabis will finally be legal in Canada – the second country in the world and the first G7 nation to do so.


While there are many things to be excited about, there are a few things that still need to be understood.


For one, why will Canadians be banned from the United States if they admit to border patrol that they consumed cannabis in the past?


“It’s basically black and white – if you admit to a US border officer at a US port of entry that you’ve smoked marijuana in the past, whether it’s in Canada or the US, you will be barred entry for life to the United States,” Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer, told CTV News.


Saunders explains that he thinks US border agents will start asking these questions more once the new cannabis legalization rules are set in place. However, he says that Canadians also have the right to refuse an answer, which may result in denied entry into the United States but the ban will only last for that specific day.


Reports following the meeting of conservative Canadian authorities with US Attorney General Jeff Sessions state that Canadians may face issues when they get to the US border once legalization has been implemented. Sessions’ abhorrence for cannabis is well-known, despite what the previous administration of Obama had done to protect cannabis laws.

The Canadian government website warns its citizens that even if one legally consumes cannabis, this may still pose problems when traveling internationally. “Cannabis is illegal in most countries,” reads the website. “Previous use of cannabis, or any other substance prohibited by local laws, could result in a traveler being denied entry to their destination country.”


Saunders says that if a Canadian ends up getting a lifetime ban, they can still apply for a temporary waiver which would let them cross the border for as long as 5 years. However, they will need to continue reapplying in order to get the waiver for life. The process is not easy nor is it cheap. The US Customs and Border Protection website says that a waiver application can cost US $585 and can take as much as a year to complete processing. A lot of paperwork will be involved, which may also require verification of criminal records and fingerprinting. But Saunders isn’t recommending Canadians to lie just to get through the border – they just have to keep in mind that they do not have to answer the question if they have ever smoked cannabis.


“Each country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements,” the Canadian website warns.


What’s The Problem?


Last April, Senator Claude Carignan disclosed to VICE News through a phone interview the results of a closed-door meeting between Jeff Sessions and the Canadian delegation. According to him, Sessions as well as Homeland Security were concerned that Canadians will cause longer wait times at the border because of secondary screenings.


“They know that they will have more secondary inspection because if the dogs that they use at the border are very good… if people smoke cannabis and they keep the same clothes… they will smell the cannabis and so automatically they will put the people at the secondary inspection,” Carignan said. “It will delay the travelers from not only for those who have inspections, but for the regular travelers. If they spend more time on secondary, they will have less border agents to take care of the regular travelers.”


More than that, he said that the Trump administration is worried about increases in illegal drug trafficking across the US-Canada border, and that illegal cannabis activities could be happening on Indigenous reserves near the border.


“What they have seen in Colorado is that they have seen new cartels that have used the legal activities to cover their trafficking,” Carignan said, referring to states that have legalized recreational cannabis. “They produce more than what they need and they traffic the cannabis.”


Canadians Who Admit Marijuana Use Can Be Banned From The USA For Life from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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