Article by James McCarten, Globe and Mail
People who work, invest or partake in Canada’s legal cannabis industry will continue to risk a lifetime ban from the United States as long as the drug remains a controlled substance under U.S. federal law, lawyers say – a prohibition some American pot producers are trying to change..U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials won’t yet say how many would-be visitors from Canada have run afoul of a peculiar contradiction: Cannabis is legal for possession, cultivation and sale in a number of U.S. states but still against federal law..And with legal cannabis only a month old, a number of Canadians and their lawyers already have first-hand knowledge of the perils that await users, investors and industry workers at the Canada-U.S. border..“It’s a double standard – they’re not enforcing it in the states but they are enforcing it at the borders,” said Len Saunders, a Canadian lawyer in Blaine, Wash., who specializes in U.S. immigration law..“You can’t take a hands-off approach with the states and allow them to sell it, and in the same breath enforce federal laws to the T at ports of entry. It’s inconsistency, it’s hypocrisy and it creates this confusion.”.U.S. officials initially warned that any Canadian who gave off any whiff of pot involvement – from using the drug to working or investing in the industry – risked being banned or denied entry. The agency later said industry workers would generally be let in as long as they were travelling for reasons unrelated to their work.