Canadian pot smokers can face lifetime ban from U.S.


Canadians will be barred from entering the United States for smoking marijuana legally, for working in Canada's legal marijuana industry and for investing in legal Canadian marijuana companies, a senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection official says.

While some U.S. states allow pot use, the drug remains federally illegal.

Additionally, if the traveler admits to past drug use, they will be found inadmissible to the US. "If you lie about it, that's fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban", Owen said.

Marijuana is illegal under US law, and the federal Immigration and Nationality Act allows customs officials to refuse entry to anyone who "is or has been an illicit trafficker in any controlled substance", including cannabis, a Schedule 1 narcotic categorized alongside heroin under the Controlled Substances Act.

As Canada moves toward it's October 17legalization date for recreational cannabis, it looks like the move might create more strict border relations with the country and the United States.

"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".

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said during a 2016 interview that he would raise concerns with the USA after several major news reports highlighted specific examples of Canadians barred from visiting on account of their admitted marijuana use amid states legalizing the plant for medical and recreational purposes in spite of federal prohibition.

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Anyone who travels to the United States regularly knows that a common question at the border is "what do you do for a living?"

There have been concerns within Canada's growing cannabis industry for months that they may face trouble crossing the border.

"A lot of people don't understand that they are still going to have problems after legalization", said Henry Chang, a partner at Blaney McMurtry LLP in Toronto who handles immigration law on both sides of the border.

Another official said those participating in the marijuana business may be turned away at the border. This decision will doom many youth before they even get started in life and careers.

That may be tricky for people who work in the marijuana industry, given that border agents often ask for a visitor's occupation.

McLeod is calling on Ottawa to strike an arrangement with the US government to ensure that Canadians participating in the soon-to-be-legal industry can travel freely between the two nations.

If a traveler admits to past use of any drugs that are illegal in the USA, such as marijuana, he or she will be found inadmissible.