In light of Canada's recent marijuana legalization, China has been warning its citizens that using cannabis in Canada, even though it's fully legal, is still dangerous and can have severe consequences when they get back home.
What many travellers don't realize is that the warning could extend to Canadians as well. According to Chinese Laws, anyone entering the country after just smoking a bit of weed could be charged and put in jail for drug trafficking.
China has some of the world's harshest drug laws and penalties. In an attempt to combat what the government has said is a nationwide illicit-drug abuse problem, they have set some of the strictest anti-drug laws ever.
Drug users in China, even those who try it for the first time, can be locked up in a government-run rehabilitation centre for up to seven years without even having a trial if they are caught.
On the more severe end, drug trafficking, selling, or possession can result in the death penalty, depending on the type and quantity of the drug. For example, having over 50 grams of heroin would lead to capital punishment being used.
While most Canadians probably don't intend to traffick drugs across international borders, in China the laws are so strict that you could accidentally smuggle drugs without knowing it.
Under their laws, customs officers in China can ask for random urine samples to check for drugs. If you are found to have any weed or THC in your system, you can be charged and sentenced for drug trafficking.
The law is so intense that other governments such as the UK warn their citizens that it is most often foreigners travelling to China that are subjected to random drug tests. They also warn that regardless of when or where you last smoked, if the drugs are in your system you will be charged.
These laws have huge impacts for anyone travelling to China, but especially for those coming from Canada. Even if you smoke or otherwise consume legal weed well before your trip, you could still be found guilty of drug smuggling.
To avoid facing these harsh penalties, the government of China warned citizens to avoid using weed in Canada for at least one week before returning back home. According to the Mayo Clinic, THC can be detected in your urine three days after even a single use and up to 30 days after your last use if you are a heavy cannabis smoker.
Canadians travelling to China, or even Chinese citizens returning home after a trip to Canada should be extra careful not to consume cannabis, even though it's legal, at least three days prior to their trip. They should also remember that even in Canada it's illegal to take drugs across international borders.