A warning for B.C. residents who take pot across the border
If you admit to smoking pot while crossing U.S. border, you could be banned permanently from the United States.
In November, Washington State decriminalized the personal use of marijuana, enacting the will of a majority of voters that applies to locals and visitors alike, although it isn’t legally for sale just yet.
For proof, look no further than the Blaine city prosecutor’s office.
“They used to call us to the border when someone with marijuana would come to the border,” says Blaine city prosecutor Rajeev Majumdar. “And now, they have just stopped.”
For B.C. residents who try to carry a small amount of pot across the border, thinking it’s no longer an issue, the marijuana will be confiscated.
You won’t be charged, but you could be interrogated under oath about your drug use, and if you admit to smoking pot, you can be banned.
“I always see at least a case or two every week,” says Blaine immigration attorney Len Saunders. “It is unfortunate, because I have to be the bearer of bad news and say to someone, even if you have no conviction, you still could be deemed inadmissible for the rest of your life.”
To even try to enter the U.S. after the ban will cost you – a $600 application plus time and lawyers fees…for answering a personal question.
“You are under no legal obligation to answer that question. It is really no one’s business,” says Saunders. “And here is a good example – what if they asked you about your sex life. It is also none of their business. So I tell people, you don’t want to lie at the border, but you don’t need to answer that question.”