Regional Pot Workers Could Face Lifetime Ban From US News Centre News

Canadian pot sector workers could face big troubles at the U.S. borders says analyst

Under the policy, United States officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises.

Todd Owen, the executive assistant commissioner for the Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations, told Politico in a report published on Thursday that Canadians who work in the industry and travel into the USA could face a lifetime ban.

Meanwhile, during an interview with CBC Manitoba earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is working with US officials to ensure that travel to the States doesn't become an issue when marijuana is legalized in Canada next month.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to enforce a policy of absolute prohibition when Canadians try to travel to the U.S., the agency told Politico on Thursday.

"Our officers are not going to be asking whether they have used marijuana, but if other questions lead there-or there is the smell coming from the vehicle, they might ask", Owen told the online magazine Politico.

If CBP inspection dogs are able to detect marijuana residue inside a auto, Canadians can be subjected to further questioning at the border.

Owen says if a traveller is asked about past use use, he shouldn't lie.

Should a traveller admit to past use, he will be found to be "inadmissible" to the U.S. According to the Politico article, US border officials allow people admitting to past illegal drug use a chance to "voluntary withdraw" from the border or face what's called "expedited removal".

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Border guards have broad power to question Canadians on their current and past drug use, immigration experts say. People who have received bans still have the possibility of applying for a waiver from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

He added that rather than lie at the border it is better to not respond to the questions.

Owen also stated in the Politico article that workers who rely on the NEXUS program to cross the border - truckers, for example - can lose their NEXUS privileges because of marijuana use.

"Facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect an individual's admissibility to the U.S.", Owen continued.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he doesn't think he has the right to press the United States on its admission policy.

"Every country has the right to judge who gets to come into their borders or not", he said. "And I certainly won't work to assume or impress upon the U.S. who they have to let in or not", Trudeau said at a CBC radio station in Manitoba earlier this week.

Eight US states - Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California - have now legalised recreational and medicinal marijuana.

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