Three Conservative senators were in Washington D.C. this week for meetings with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal officials to discuss Canada’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis use — and they say officials there have unanswered questions of their own about the pot bill.
Senators Claude Carignan, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu and Denise Batters said they went to Washington after getting what they called unsatisfactory answers from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale last week at a Senate committee about the the impact legalization will have on the Canada-U.S. relationship.
“We went to Washington to find clear answers to the questions asked by Canadian workers and tourists, including families, who cross the border,” Sen. Boisvenu said in a statement. “Faced with the Liberals’ empty answers and broken record, we had to seek concrete and real facts right at the source.”
The three senators, who arrived in Washington Tuesday, are all outspoken critics of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to legalize the recreational consumption of cannabis in Canada.
They said they went to the U.S. to ask about the policy’s impacts on border security and cross-border trade. They also had questions about issues linked to trucking and “public transportation safety,” and the risks faced by Canadians travelling into the U.S. with small quantities of cannabis.
In a joint statement after the meeting with Sessions, the senators said they were told that anyone who admits to having consumed marijuana may be subjected to additional inspection or even denied entry to the U.S.
“Canadians have reasons to be worried!” the senators said in the statement. “An increase in standby time is expected for crossing the U.S. border, for both regular and Nexus travelers as well as truckers (Passexpress). Travelers can expect an increase of secondary inspections as trained dogs will still detect residue and smell marijuana odours even if the consumption dates back a few days.”