Despite marijuana’s surge in popularity, there are still serious consequences to getting high. Today, Canadians who smoke weed could be banned from entering US. If a border patrol agent asks you if you smoke weed, they can bar you from entering the country.
Once You’re Banned, You’re Banned Forever
This isn’t a temporary ban, either.
Once a Canadian is denied entrance to the U.S. it goes on their permanent record. As Len Saunders, an American lawyer focused on this issue, explained at the Senate Hearing Committee, “They’re basically turned around, told to go back to Canada, and told they are inadmissible for life. This is a lifetime ban.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Canadians who smoke weed can never enter the US. Rather, you’ll require a waiver to gain passage. These waivers are both a bureaucratic hassle, and expensive. They can cost hundreds of dollars.
The Weed Ban Also Applies To Celebrities
The laws that allow that Canadians who smoke weed could be banned from entering US apply to everyone, including the rich and famous.
The border patrol denied Canadian Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati entrance to the U.S. Rebagliati previously lost his 1998 gold medal for the Men’s Giant Slalom when he tested positive for marijuana.
He has since reclaimed his medal but cannot enter the US without a waiver after revealing that he smoked marijuana on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Even America’s favorite Canadian, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has admitted to smoking pot and could suffer the consequences.
This Problem Will Worsen After Canadian Legalization
Starting this summer, recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada. However, this does not mean that US border agents will become more lenient as more Canadians light up.
Even though weed is legal in Saunders’ native Washington State, he doesn’t see American federal lawmakers becoming more tolerant.
“I see a wall on the northern border,” Len Saunders says.
What To Do If A Border Agent Asks If You Smoke Weed
Not every agent will ask this question. And when they do, legally, you don’t have to answer. If the answer is yes, it’s probably best you keep that information to yourself.
Final Hit: Canadians Who Smoke Weed Could Be Banned From Entering US
It doesn’t matter that 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, and Canada is set for national legalization. As long as marijuana is illegal federally, there are still consequences to smoking the persecuted herb.
For now, the best precaution Canadians can take to avoid a costly lifetime ban from the US is to keep mum about their smoking habits.