Article by Don Martin, CTV News
Way back in the mid-1970s, when the first Trudeau government was dealing with a commission advocating marijuana decriminalization, I was busted for simple possession of pot while waiting to enter a high school dance.
I tried to argue it wasn’t my dope, but nobody believed me – including the judge.
But after a valiant legal fight, he took pity on the journalist-wannabe and granted me an absolute discharge.
No criminal record should, in theory, equal no problem.
But that’s not how U.S. border security sees it. So it haunts me still.
Even now, four decades later, if I’m randomly selected for a more intense U.S. border check, the charge shows up and a steely-eyed border guard will warn me that, had I not been born in the U.S.A., I would be turned away and my vacation plans scrubbed.
After applying for a Nexus card last year, U.S. Homeland Security demanded more detailed documentation of a charge, which I must stress didn’t register as a conviction, which predated the Internet by ten years.