Canadians have been worried about making it across the border to the United States after weed legalization. The U.S. has made it clear that there are some strict rules regarding previous cannabis use and crossing the border.
Previously, border officials reported that Canadians would be banned for life from the United States if they worked in the marijuana industry, since then, they have repealed this decision. Now, Canadians are more confused than ever and worried that they'll be banned from entering the States if they say or do the wrong thing at the US border.
Some Canadians have admitted to lying about past cannabis use so that they can make it safely into the United States. Some have even been turned away from the border after admitting they had smoked pot before it was legal in Canada. However, a Canadian lawyer is now warning against that method, because there are serious consequences.
Smoking weed before it was legalized in Canada is not the only thing that could result in a lifetime ban from the U.S. If you are caught lying to a border official, such as about previous weed use, you could also be banned permanently from the country.
Henry Chang is a partner at the Toronto law firm Blaney McMurtry LLP. He strongly advised Canadians not to lie to border officials because he says they could be banned for life from the States for doing so. "Do not do that. Trust me," Chang told CBC News.
According to Chang, these are three things that can get Canadians banned from the U.S. now that weed is legalized in Canada:
- A previous conviction of marijuana possession
- Admitting to having used cannabis before its legalization in Canada
- Getting caught lying about marijuana use to a U.S. border official
"If you admit to using controlled substances prior to legalization, you are barred," Chang told CBC News. "If you lie and say you've never smoked it and they find out, it's a permanent bar for material misrepresentation, which is also quite serious."
So what is the best solution if you have smoked weed before it was legalized and need to go south of the border? The Canadian lawyer suggests delaying and not answering the question if you're put in this situation.
"Refuse to answer the question. Say it's irrelevant. Say you don't know why this question is being asked," said Chang. He recommends consulting a lawyer afterward. "Because once you've admitted it, it's done. You're barred. Nothing anybody can do except apply for a waiver," said Chang.
Source: CBC News
More from the Canadian Cannabis Legalization series:
- A Neighbourhood In Toronto Just Completely Banned Smoking Marijuana In Public
- The Toronto Neighbourhood With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Where You Thought It Would Be
- This Is What You Need To Know For Marijuana Use By Province In Canada After October 17th
- The Canadian Province With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Who You Thought It Would Be