A top official from the US Customs and Border Patrol has confirmed that the agency will enforce a federal policy prohibiting those involved with the Canadian marijuana industry from entering the United States.
Section 212 of the US Immigration and Nationality Act states that foreigners are ineligible to enter the US if they are “determined to be a drug abuser” or if they have assisted in the trafficking of an illicit substance, reports NORML. The US Custom representative told Politico that the agency is broadly interpreting the statute to include those who work or have financially invested in Canada’s legal marijuana industry, or who acknowledge personal use of the substance.
Canada legalized the regulated production and distribution of medical marijuana nearly two decades ago. In June, Canadian lawmakers gave final approval to legalize adult use marijuana. The new law takes effect on October 17, 2018.
“This is an irrational and discriminatory policy that unduly penalizes tens of thousands of Canadians who pose no health or safety risk to the United States,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “At a time when public opinion and the culture surrounding marijuana is rapidly shifting, not just in the United States but around the world, it is inane for US border officials to maintain such a draconian and backward-looking policy.”