Marijuana users may want to be careful what questions they answer at the U.S. border

Admitting pot use at U.S. border may get you banned

Border guards take new tack with B.C. bud fans after marijuana legalization vote in Washington State

Pot-smoking B.C. residents are increasingly being banned from entering the U.S. as American border guards try to stem the flow of Canadian marijuana tourists in the wake of Washington State’s weed legalization vote late last year.

Blaine lawyer Len Saunders said he’s seeing more cases of B.C. residents being permanently denied entry after trying to carry pot across the border, thinking it’s no longer an issue.

Because marijuana is now legal to possess under state law, Canadians caught bringing less than an ounce across aren’t charged, as they were in the past.

“I’m seeing no prosecutions – zero since November,” Saunders said. “But there’s more confusion.”

What happens now, he said, is pot-packing Canucks have their stash confiscated and are then interrogated under oath about their drug-using habits.

Admit that you’ve ever smoked or used marijuana in your life, he said, and you can be deemed inadmissable to the U.S. because you’ve confessed to a crime of moral turpitude.

“The key is to not admit that you’ve ever used it,” Saunders said, stressing he isn’t counselling anyone to lie under oath.

He noted anyone could be questioned about past marijuana use at the border, whether Customs and Border Protection agents find pot on them or not.

Past studies have found a majority of B.C. residents report using marijuana at least once.

Saunders said he’s increasingly had calls from Canadians deemed inadmissable over pot use who say they can’t believe it happened to them and must now apply for a tough-to-obtain re-entry waiver also required for anyone with a criminal conviction who wants to return to the U.S.

A pot dispensary is expected to open in Blaine, he said, but the licence hasn’t been granted yet.

“It’s legal to possess,” Saunders said. “So if you make it over the border you can buy it and you can use it.”

Saunders noted Washington’s legalization of pot doesn’t extend to use by minors age 18 or under.

And anyone who brings a “truckload” of pot over the border can still expect to be prosecuted under U.S. federal law.

Ironically, he said, while an admission of marijuana use in the distant past can bar you from the U.S. for life, convicted drunk drivers face no such problem.

“If you have multiple DUIs you are admissable to the U.S.,” Saunders said. “A DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude because you didn’t have the intention to drive drunk. Because you were drunk.”

Just Posted

Donor of stolen Chief Dan George sculpture frustrated at middle school

Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how nobody missed it

Voters will have their say whether Mission becomes a city

Alternative approval process should begin at the end of August

Purple fentanyl among items seized in drug bust in Abbotsford

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Meet Mission’s first Grand Inner Guard

Kari Senko is only the second woman elected to the Elks of Canada, grand executive

VIDEO: Daughter of slain Abbotsford Police officer speaks at charity dinner

Fay Davidson, daughter of Const. John Davidson, speaks at memorial scholarship event

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Puppy rescued from smoky South Surrey condo

Fire alarms brought firefighters to the Morgan Crossing residences around 7 p.m.

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

A cappella country quintet Home Free to sing in Surrey

September concert date for Minnesota-based winners of NBC’s ‘The Sing Off’

Fatal overdoses in B.C. drop 30% during first half of year

A total of 538 people have died between January and June, BC Coroners Service reports

UPDATE: Arrest made in stabbing in South Surrey shopping district

Police said victim was found just after 3 a.m. and incident is ‘not believed random’

Most Read