Well, it looks like I will never be able to enter the United States again.
Why not, you might be wondering. Do I have a criminal record?
According to the CBC National News broadcast tonight, U.S. border guards are asking some Canadians if they have ever smoked pot. If they answer yes, they are barred for life from entering the United States. (Vice.com also has a report.)
And it doesn’t matter that pot is legal in some American states. The border guards are federal civil servants, and the U.S. federal government still criminalizes the possession and smoking of the herb. Yes, the apparently tolerant Obama government is still hung up on that old propaganda film, Reefer Madness.
The report also said that when Canada legalizes pot, U.S. border guards will be asking more Canadians if they have ever smoked it. It doesn’t matter if you smoked it once five decades ago or toked up yesterday: you will be barred for life if you admit it.
So, I could always lie if I want to get into the United States.
But, fuck that: I don’t lie. And I am not ashamed of the fact that I have smoked marijuana in my lifetime (hey, I smoked it when I was in California). So, I simply won’t go to the United States. I’ll keep my tourism dollars in Canada, as will many other Canadians who saw the CBC report tonight. Because the majority of Canadians have probably smoked pot.
In fact, our prime minister has admitted to smoking marijuana. He can access the U.S. now on official business because he has diplomatic immunity. But as a private citizen, he will be barred for life, too — because he has been very public about his pot use and his government will be responsible for the legalization of marijuana in Canada.
So, it seems the United States is building a wall of sorts to keep many, many Canadians out of the country. Or to make them lie . . .
P.S. American pot smokers are welcome in Canada.
much ado about nothing
This law has actually been around for quite some time. I remember an Olympic (I think) athlete being denied access years ago.
Of course, lacking any convictions, you can always say ‘no’ and continue to spend your money here!
And do it soon before Trump builds his Wall to keep you out! 😉
I’m guessing the U.S. is trying to make a point with Canadian authorities who are about to legalize pot. The problem with lying is if one gets caught doing so and is actually in the United States, it could lead to jail time.
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You may be right about that!
The whole situation here is absurd. It’s going to end up in our Supreme Court soon enough, although the Court will probably be deadlocked on it until after the election when a new President and Congress finally get around to voting on a replacement Justice…
I smoked it in Canada years before I ever smoked it back home in the States, (once, it was even with a Dane who brought the stuff in with him from Amsterdam. Extra potent, too.) Never been asked about it when returning south of the border, just if I have any on me right then. But, if they did ask me if I’d ever smoked it before, and I was truthful, I wonder what they’d try to do? Maybe I should volunteer that information, next time I’m crossing, and see what happens. Will they let me back in?
Don’t volunteer the information, and fib if they do ask you. They could arrest you on the spot otherwise, because you would be considered to have committed a felony.