Experts Warn Cannabis Still Poses Risks For Canadians Crossing U.S. Border

Article by James McCarten, Globe and Mail

Experts warn cannabis still poses risks for Canadians crossing U.S. border JAMES MCCARTEN WASHINGTON THE CANADIAN PRESS
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.

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