Canadians Best Not to Bring Medical Marijuana Into the US While Visiting by Jamie Gilcig – JULY 14, 2015

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.


  1. If you have your legal amount and your doctor’s prescription, I don’t see why a person should have their medicine taken away from them. These cannabis laws are outdated propaganda and folks are wise to it now. Are they seizing oxycontin? Probably, but if it’s your legal medicine they should just move on and find some real criminals, instead of making folks into criminals when they’re playing by the rules. I don’t consume cannabis myself, but lots of folks around me do and i’d rather be around them, than drunk people any day of the week.

  2. Jerry….because it is not recognized federally in the U.S. True, it is recognized by some states, but not all. The CBP agents enforce federal laws first when you enter the U.S.

  3. Hugger, yes i understand it’s against federal law. However, aren’t we supposed to be smart humans? I mean can’t the border guards use common sense? I know that will never happen, but people are persecuted every day because of the evil weed. There are places where you can smoke recreationally, and other places in the same nation where folks are rotting in prison for having as much as a gram on their person. So silly. Oxycontin is a controlled substance as well, however you can posses it with a prescription. That more acceptable though, you know because big pharma is getting paid.

  4. jerry…the CBP is to enforce laws, not regulate common sense. Just because it is legal in Canada and in some states that does not make it legal to bring across international borders. The CBP is just doing their job. Once the U.S. government makes it legal nationally then that question won’t have to be asked and it can be transported without issues.

  5. Jerry, if we take the common sense approach here: USA is international travel. Know the laws of the land you are entering. We can debate the merits of criminalized marijuana until we turn blue in the face, but the fact remains that it is an illegal substance federally in the USA.On top of that, NY state does not permit recreational use or possession. see: So again I plead, use common sense. Don’t travel abroad with a banned substance on you when entering another country/nation. A medical marijuana licence in Ontario is valid when residents are in Ontario.

  6. When in Rome…this is not rocket science and Canada is not the world it is but one of many jurisdictions. Common sense would suggest that you respect the laws of other countries or willingly accept the consequences of stupidity. With you all the way Hugger! and Jean on this topic.

  7. Ya putting quotes around medicine doesn’t help anything with regard to it being taken seriously. You’re adding fuel to a discriminatory fire.

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