Article by Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight
So far, the NDP government hasn’t faced any serious criticism from opposition MLAs in its efforts to amend the Motor Vehicle Act in response to the federal legalization of cannabis.
But near the end of a debate over Bll 17 on May 8, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth expressed serious concerns about how some B.C. residents will be treated entering the U.S. if they truthfully answer a border guard’s question.
In particular, he’s worried about the potential of ordinary citizens being denied access to the United States as a result of doing something legal in Canada: consuming cannabis.
“They potentially could have their vehicle seized, fines, you name it,” Farnworth said.
He suggested that the same thing could occur if they’re returning to Canada from the United States.
“What is it going to mean, for example, if you have a business that does a lot of work in the U.S., and you have an employee that’s going down there and, on their own time, they’re doing something, again, that is perfectly legal in Canada, perfectly legal in Washington state, but at the border, it’s not?” Farnworth asked.
“There are some very important, unanswered questions, in terms of you as a private individual, or you as a business—whether it’s a small business or a large business,” he continued.
Farnworth emphasized that these issues have been brought to the attention of the U.S. consulate and officials at “the highest levels” in Washington. And he maintained that “they have absolutely zero interest in dealing with the problems that are going to arise.”