Pot border impact

Whether its medical or recreational, if you’re caught trying to bring any cannabis across the border there’s no chance you’re getting into the United States, but U.S. customs are taking things a step further.

“If you are working in the industry with marijuana legalizing you could be or may be in-admissable to the United States.”

Aaron Bowker is a customs and border protection officer at the Peace Bridge. He says the same rules apply to anyone who invests in the pot industry, but adds that the decision to deny entry will be made on a case-to-case basis.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into it, a lot of phone calls that would be made and policies to look at before they make a decision.”

As reported earlier in the year, border agents can demand a password to open your own cell phone.

There’s little Canadians can do if you’re turned away at the border. Immigration lawyers say you can apply for a temporary waiver but that could take up to 9 months to get. So the advice here is to just be honest.

“If we are able to prove that you have lied in a sworn statement that’s fraud and misrepresentation and at that point we could charge you under the immigration and nationality act and you could be banned for life.”

U.S. immigration lawyer Leonard Saunders says he gets daily calls from Canadians denied entry to the U.S.. and cannabis related issues are on the rise. His advice, don’t answer the questions.

“I tell Canadians the best advice I can give somebody is to not answer that question if you feel uncomfortable. You’re under no obligation to answer that question whether you’ve used marijuana or if you’re in the business when seeking entry. It’s better to not answer that question and have a simple denied entry, because you will be denied entry if you don’t cooperate, than having a lifetime bar.”

As the American policy goes Saunders says every single provincial employee in Ontario could be deemed inadmissible if the province is selling marijuana, all the way up to Premier Doug Ford.


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