This October, Canada will officially legalize the recreational use of pot. It will then be legal to use weed recreationally across the country, as well as in U.S. border states like Washington, Maine, and Vermont. Yet American border agents say they still plan on enforcing federal law barring any weed traveling across the border.
“Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under U.S. federal law,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials told Detroit’s Local 4 news.
The unidentified officials said that anyone attempting to enter the U.S. with cannabis may have the products seized, as well as face fines and possible “apprehension.”
Michigan will vote in November on a proposition that would legalize recreational pot, adding another state to the list in which weed will be legal on both sides of the border.
“This bright red line at the border is something we all need to consider, because federal law will apply at the border, notwithstanding what’s legal or not in either province or state on the other side of that border,” Drew Dilkens, the mayor of Windsor, a small Canadian town near the border of Michigan, told Local 4 News.
U.S. laws make it possible to ban any foreign visitor who admits to ever having using illegal drugs from entering the country for life. Incredibly, this rule will most likely still apply to Canadians entering states where weed has been legalized.
The Trump administration’s position on weed has been all over the place. In January, the Justice Department announced that it would be empowering federal prosecutors to interfere more broadly in states that were legalizing weed. But in June, President Trump said that he might favor a bill that allowed states to largely conduct their own affairs on the issue without federal interference.
Nevertheless, the CBP told Local 4 that it is the “first line of defense in preventing the illegal importation of narcotics, including marijuana,” and “will continue to enforce that law.”