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U.S. Border Patrol in Maine Says Legalization Won’t Stop Marijuana Seizures

Maureen Meehan

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The top U.S. Border Patrol agent in Maine recently reminded folks that its officers have no intention of allowing weed to enter through Maine’s 600-mile border with Canada. I

n an effort to enforce that, he warmed that legal pot smokers had best stay away from the border, regardless of the fact that cannabis is now legal in Maine.

A high-ranking officer in the Border Patrol, Chief Daniel Hiebert, told the Portland Press Herald that his agents are not actively looking for marijuana, but if they find it, they will confiscate and make arrests, in keeping with his agents’ obligation to enforce federal law.

What Officer Hiebert seemed to be telling Maine residents who legally possess marijuana is that they should stay away from the border.

“Be careful,” Hiebert said. “If they want to keep their marijuana, don’t do anything that is going to get our agents’ attention.”

Hiebert also said marijuana usage—or even having connections to the state’s legal cannabis industry—could prevent someone from getting a job with the Border Patrol or any other federal agencies.

“If someone is thinking about a career in the federal government, they need to think about what they are doing with medical marijuana and recreational marijuana,” Hiebert said during a discussion with reporters at Bangor International Airport.

Apparently none of the reporters asked how one is supposed to control whether a relative is involved in the legal weed industry.

Like many Border Patrol offices across the country, according to the Portland Press, Maine’s border is understaffed and is having a hard time attracting qualified applicants for open positions. Hiebert said at least one applicant was rejected because he had a family member in the MMJ business.

Here we have yet another glaring contradiction between state and federal law regarding legal marijuana.

Federal law enforcement agencies, such as the border patrol in Maine, are essentially preparing to violate the rights of Americans who have voted to legalize marijuana.

While the Obama administration maintained a hands-off approach to enforcing federal law and protected states’ rights with the Cole Memo, he did not legalize it federally nor decriminalize it, which has resulted in putting so many Americans in vulnerable positions.

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