Canadians denied entry to the US because of weed

Published Jan 25, 2019 05:05 p.m. ET

Can I get arrested in the US for smoking weed?

 Absolutely. Reasons for not being allowed entry to the United States include; production, simple possession, distribution of cannabis and medicinal or recreational use. Any of these infractions could result in a lifetime ban, according to US Border Security. These were the laws until the statement from the USA government dictating that Canadians who work in the legal marijuana industry can now gain entry to the states. The American border rules are Federal jurisdiction. This ruling, had it not been changed, could have affected 5 million Canadians. Even after this statement Canadian weed users should be very cautious about crossing the US border.

Canadian border questions

Canadians attempting to enter the states will have to be prepared to answer some tough questions.  At the border,you may be asked where you work. If your answer has anything to do with the cannabis industry, you could have been denied. That included many government employees working in the legal marijuana industry. Your entry could still be compromised; If you provide information to the border officer that you indulge in marijuana before OCTOBER 17 2018, this could render you inadmissible. If the officer deems that you may engage in the same behavior in the States, then they can  deny you entry. If you are asked questions, the officer will probably base his reasoning on if you were a smoker before legalization in Canada or after. It is hoped that this line of questing would not be routine at the border. The USA does not recognize Canadian amnesty like a pardon, so if you have had your marijuana record pardoned you are still legally not to be given entry.

This ruling is tough. Just by working for a company that perhaps advertises cannabis or its products   could put you in this category. You may say that’s crazy I have never touched marijuana. Well sorry, you get remuneration for your job, which gets money from a cannabis company, this is just a scenario but none the less a very real situation. You are classed as living off the profits from a drug trade. This is a significant problem in the states and will not be tolerated.  Early in October of 2018, this law was changed and any Canadian’s that work in the cannabis industry will not be denied entry for that reason. However, if you are coming to the states for marijuana industry business, entry might be a little less forthcoming.


Prior to the changing of that rule, if that situation happened to you at a USA border,you would have needed to hire legal representation to apply for a legal waiver. A very time consuming, expensive and the waiver would need to be renewed on a periodical basis. There is ultimately no guarantee that the waiver would be approved.  

Cannabis use in the US

If you decide to take a road trip to the States, do not take your weed with you. This is a banned substance under the law and could land you in an American jail. You may ask if the state you are traveling to has legal marijuana use, why can I not bring my own.  The answer to that is clear. To take drugs across an international border is illegal. Just wait till you cross the border and purchase your weed legally.



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