CORNWALL Ontario – So you drive up to US customs heading to your camp over in New York State for the weekend.
The Customs & Border Protection Officer asks you the usual questions and then one for the first time.
“Do you have any medical marijuana travelling into the US?”
That led me to ask CBP Public Affairs Specialist Shelbe Benson-Fuller how the US is now handling Medical Marijuana as opposed to other illegal drugs such as Cocaine?
“As you know, more and more states are legalizing marijuana in the U.S. and I believe that Canada has recently done this as well. While marijuana may be legal in certain areas, it is not federally recognized in the United States.
Marijuana is still a prohibited controlled substance (Schedule I) and as such is liable to seizure and its possessor is amenable to arrest or fines.
As such, CBP officers ask various questions to ensure that the person or persons entering the country don’t pose a threat to the public, won’t add to the illegal immigrant population or won’t introduce illegal contraband.”
I asked her to clarify the scenario as best as she could. In the US marijuana is now legal for not only Medical use, but recreational use as well as in the State of Colorado.
“While each incident is treated different since many variables play into it, ie, criminal background, priors seizures, etc, normally, if the individual doesn’t have anything prior and background clear, the marijuana is simply seized and it is explained to the individual why it is seized and they are free to leave.”
So if you’re considering a weekend getaway in NY or states that don’t have Marijuana laws at this time it’s best to leave your “medicine” at home.