Canada to U.S.: Chill With the ‘Ludicrous’ Borderline Pot Profiling
The Public Safety Minister is polite, but he is pissed.
Canada has had just about enough with America’s “ludicrous” border policies as applied to pot users. In fact, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has been pushed to the point where he plans to politely ask U.S. border authorities to pull their darn heads out of their freakin’ bums.
The current international incident was triggered by the United States—a country built by people none of whom would be over here without a long tradition of open immigration—banning a Canadian man from entering the freedom territories because that man admitted he had smoked marijuana recreationally.
Harvey, apparently believing honesty to be a best practice, admitted he had in the past used weed recreationally.
According to local media reports, British Columbia resident and medical marijuana cardholder Matthew Harvey was held up at a Washington State border crossing in 2014 and questioned about his cannabis use. Harvey, apparently believing honesty to be a best practice, admitted he had in the past used weed recreationally. Border agents rewarded Harvey’s transparency by denying him entry to Washington State (where recreational marijuana was voted legal in 2012). The Canadian was subsequently banned from future trips to the U.S.
An appeals process is available to Harvey. He can apply for a “travel waiver,” which would allow him to visit the U.S. on a temporary basis, but the waiver is not cheap and can be denied.
"We obviously need to intensify our discussions with our border authorities in the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security," Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
"This does seem to be a ludicrous situation," he said, noting that marijuana is legal in Washington State as well as "three or four other jurisdictions in the United States."
Canada’s attitude toward medical and recreational cannabis is moving toward normalization, as pot policies and perceptions are in much of America, but the Canadians are better poised for international weed partnerships, domestic retail arrangements, and parental rights to smoke without going to prison.
America’s weed-friendly friends from the north aren't perfect, but the country as a whole seems to know a few things about integrating marijuana into the mainstream flow of national life. The U.S. might be better off letting Canada's citizens into the country and learning from their experience.