With the October 17, 2018, legalization of marijuana in Canada, many immigration issues are looming for Canadians who want to travel to the US for business and pleasure. As other countries become aware of Canada's new pot laws, immigration lawyers are warning Canadians who admit to consuming marijuana legally in Canada or investing in the cannabis industry could have problems at the border, which is under United States federal jurisdiction. While marijuana is legal in several states, in the US it is federally classified as an illicit and controlled substance.
According to The Star, the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs press officer said “admission requirements into the United States will not change due to Canada’s legalization of cannabis.”
Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah advises,
Never lie at the border crossing, but instead to refuse to answer questions about marijuana use or investment. In that case, you will be denied admission to the United States on that occasion, but will not be banned for life.
Hopefully the border issues surrounding Canadians's legal use of marijuana will be resolved soon. In the mean time, if you do legally use marijuana in Canada and are traveling to the United State for business or as a tourist, I recommend:
- When crossing the Canada / US border, make sure you are not carrying any marijuano or cannabis paraphenalia in your pockets or bags.
- Put passwords on your electronic devices so your photos, emails and texts cannot be read.
- Do not use a credit card to purchase marijuana, as the legal electronic sharing of data between countries could make that information available to the border agents.
Banned travelers can apply for a waiver, which lasts for one to five years if approved. If you are deemed inadmissible to enter Canada and are permanently banned from entering the United States for your legal Canadian purchase and use of marijuana, you can appeal the decision. Ackah Business Immigration Law provides comprehensive expertise in all areas of Canadian and United States immigration law. Our innovative legal practice combines professional knowledge, personal attention, and supportive advice. With knowledge and expertise, we navigate complex US immigration rules and regulations to solve problems and remove obstacles, before you get to the border.
Evelyn Ackah is a US and Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, U.S. and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.
We provide expertise in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.
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