As Canada prepares for the legalization of marijuana nation-wide, people who invest in the booming pot sector could risk a life-time at the border, according to a senior official who oversees the United States border operations.
Owen said U.S. Customs and Border Protection will apply existing laws against admitting drug users and drug traffickers into the United States.
Canadians who say they invest in marijuana companies would also be unable to enter the country as the USA doesn't "recognize that as a legal business", Owen said. "If you work for the industry, that is grounds for inadmissibility", Owen said.
Owen also said officers won't be asking everyone about their marijuana use or link, only if questions lead there.
As well, marijuana residue, which can linger for weeks inside a auto, could be detected by inspection dogs and lead to further questioning.
Oh yeah, and if you're asked about past drug use, Owen stated that travellers shouldn't lie. According to the Politico article, US border officials allow people admitting to past illegal drug use a chance to "voluntary withdraw" from the border or face what's called "expedited removal". Owen said if travelers lie about past drug use during questioning, that's "fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban".
That process costs US$585, takes several months to work through, and.U.S. Customs and Border Patrol gets the final say. The waivers are only granted at the discretion of CBP.
Consider that, after October 17, someone travelling from Canada (where marijuana is legal) to Washington State or Vermont (where marijuana is also legal) could still be stopped at the border, prohibited from entering the United States, and banned from the country for life. Likewise, investors in pot companies are considered inadmissible.
"We don't recognize that as a legal business", the official said, adding that marijuana investors from Israel have already been turned away.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday Canada is working with USA officials try to make sure travel between the two countries is not disrupted.
"Every country has the right to judge who gets to come into their borders or not", he said. "And I certainly won't work to assume or impress upon the USA who they have to let in or not", Trudeau told a CBC radio station in Manitoba.
"But there is no question that we are working with U.S. officials; they have legalized marijuana in a number of their states, and we're trying to make sure that travel between our two countries (is) not disrupted".