Canadians Face Unjust Entry Bans Because U.S. Can’t Get its Marijuana Policies in Order

It ought to go with out saying that Canadians shouldn’t be banned from getting into the United States as a result of earlier marijuana use. It also needs to go with out saying that if somebody works in the Canadian hashish business, and isn’t bringing merchandise throughout the border, additionally they shouldn’t be banned from getting into the U.S.

Starting Oct. 17, 2018, leisure hashish can be authorized for buy and consumption in Canada. The business is projected to deliver in billions of dollars in income, main many Canadians to leap into the upcoming inexperienced rush, taking jobs, beginning companies and scooping up shares. And, naturally, extra Canadians are sure to smoke weed.

As nationwide legalization quickly approaches, Canadian residents unfamiliar with the hashish business have been intently watching all marijuana-related information. When the Toronto Star picked up a Politico report on Sept. 13, 2018, that a senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  official stated that anybody who makes use of hashish, works in the hashish sector, or invests in a hashish enterprise will danger being banned from getting into the U.S., my e mail was filled with messages asking, “Can you believe this?”

Unfortunately, I can.

Put apart the truth that any one that has consumed hashish on Canadian soil, no matter whether or not it was authorized, doesn’t imply they’ve dedicated — or will commit — a criminal offense in the U.S.

The actual cause CBP authorities are harassing Canadians on the border is as a result of the unreconciled pressure that exists between states which have legalized hashish use and the federal authorities’s insurance policies on marijuana. Until the Trump administration reconciles the truth that 31 states have legalized hashish use and that attitudes in the direction of hashish are shifting in America, Canada will obtain drug war-era penalties for its legalization initiatives.

Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ought to get up for the authorized hashish business the nation has labored exhausting to construct and regulate. I’m not alone in this sentiment, as a few of my acquaintances in the hashish business have agreed privately.

But Trudeau has proven an unwillingness to push the U.S. on the difficulty. Trudeau mentioned the difficulty in a September 2017 press convention when he said, “Canadians appreciate that we don’t let other countries or other leaders dictate who or how we let people into our country, so I’m not going to tell Americans how to make decisions about who they let into their country, either.”

It’s fascinating to notice that Trudeau has brazenly and unapologetically admitted to smoking weed — illegally, by the best way — whereas he was a member of Parliament, and he doesn’t appear to have any issues getting into the United States on his diplomatic passport.

Trudeau is popping his again on Canadians who’ve chosen to take part in the authorized hashish business, and sending a message to the U.S. that it’s admissible.

“If you are going to be barred based on your job, what have you done wrong?” stated Heather Segal, proprietor and senior lawyer with the Toronto-based Segal Immigration Law apply, in an interview with “It’s legal in Canada, so where’s the crime?”

Segal believes this coverage appears to be directed with intention towards Canada. After all, different nations with progressive marijuana legal guidelines aren’t topic to the identical scrutiny. Many individuals frequently fly to and from Amsterdam with out the identical type of harassment and potential banishment after coming back from the Netherlands.

Segal additionally made notice that the minimal authorized consuming age in Canada is 19 — 18 in some provinces — however it’s 21 in the U.S. Why aren’t Canadians between the ages of 18-20 barred from America if they’ve consumed alcohol legally or illegally sooner or later?

“You can’t have it both ways,” Segal stated. But the U.S., above all logic and equity, believes in any other case.

The Dark Reality of Being a Cannabis Refugee

While this obtrusive double normal on behalf of the United States has acquired extreme condemnation from those that obtain paychecks from the Canadian hashish business (myself included), there’s a a lot darker actuality to this border disruption.

The private influence of receiving a lifetime, and even momentary, ban from the U.S. means banned Canadians can’t go to their households or attend weddings, funerals, different essential life occasions, and different private points. Sadly, via her work a as an immigration lawyer, Segal is all too conversant in these issues.

“I had a case on my desk this morning. I had a guy who was headed to the States, going to a concert, and he was stopped by U.S. Immigration. They asked him what he did [for a living]and he told them that he was working in the cannabis industry,” Segal recounted. “He was part of a legal business that was growing medical marijuana, completely licensed and legal in Canada, and his purpose in the United States was entirely unrelated to cannabis. Once they found out that he was working in the cannabis industry, they barred him from the United States permanently.”

A Fair, Logical Approach to the Cannabis US and Canadian Border Problem

Segal believes that a truthful, logical answer exists, even when the U.S. federal authorities has but to undertake such a coverage. “The middle-ground is if you are going to the United States for purposes unrelated to cannabis, you should be able to go into the United States.”

Shy of the U.S. truly enacting federal hashish reform, which is very unlikely presently, this looks like a good stability and a means by means of a sophisticated situation.

One ultimate thought that hopefully supplies some consolation:  Cannabis legalization is in its infancy.

We have a plant that was rapidly and ignorantly prohibited virtually a century in the past, and it’ll take time for marijuana to be absolutely reintegrated into society each in Canada and in the U.S., however I, for one, am assured change will occur and these points on the border are momentary.

Just how short-term is anybody’s guess.


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