Turning the US-Canada cannabis border policy on its head
The United States Customs and Border Protection agency has updated its policy towards Canadian citizens engaged in the cannabis market, but it’s still full of double standards.
There are only five days left until recreational cannabis legalization goes into effect in Canada, and the United States Customs and Border Protection agency has changed its policy.
The previous version suggested that anyone related to the industry (including cannabis users) will not be allowed entry.
The new version is a bit more forgiving to regular citizens that have nothing to do with the industry, and even participating as a shopper will be OK.
However, if you are working for a Canadian cannabis company and your plan for visiting the US includes meeting people in the US and discussing business, you won’t be allowed to cross the border.
This new policy says that if you are coming to the US for anything related to cannabis, you’ll be denied entry:
“A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S.. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”
To me, that’s pretty unfair and biased against people who are engaged in something they love, support and enjoy using.
The new policy is still too far reaching. Imagine this:
You fly into an airport on the West Coast, such as the LAX or any other. The customs officer asks what’s the purpose of your trip.
You tell him you’re visiting to see the Cannabis Cup, and he denies you entry. Congrats, now you have to buy a new ticket back home or reschedule the one you’ve got.
This is a reality now, even though the LAX officials said that they will allow cannabis in carry-ons.
All three Pacific states have legalized recreational cannabis, so if you want to go there, you should be allowed to tell the cops why you’re visiting and be good with it.
But no, not in America. In America, if you say that you’re visiting for anything cannabis-related you’ll be kissing the doors.
Turning the tables on the US
What’s the one thing that about 50% of Americans are extremely passionate about? Guns, of course.
Guns are in the constitution. They are also in American homes, in American stores, and in a bunch of Americans’ hands.
There are guns everywhere in America, and almost every person in America will come in touch with them at some point.
Many Americans carry them for work purposes, own them self-defense or just like having guns. And why wouldn’t they, guns are fun, I’ll give them that.
But, they can also be fairly dangerous, just like weed. In fact, guns kill more people yearly on accident, than weed ever did.
In 2014, 2,549 children (age 0-19) died by gunshot and an additional 13,576 were injured.
The same report says that in 2016, 4,648 young people ages 10-24 were victims of homicide – an average of 13 each day. That’s pretty dangerous if you ask me.
Now, imagine if some country which Americans love visiting was to pull a classic US move, and ban people crossing their border if they ever get in touch with the gun industry.
Does that make you angry, Americans?
Imagine the following scenario if you would:
You and your partner are going to Mexico for summer vacation and you just landed in Cancun. Or, you’re visiting Paris with your future partner and you can’t wait to see the city of love.
At the border, you hand over your passports to the border police officer. The officer glances over it, types in your name in the computer and tells you that you are not allowed to enter.
The whole situation just made a U-turn and you are in a very uncomfortable spot. You don’t know why you’re being denied entry, and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
Your partner, however, has no issues with the border police and gets approved. You ask for the supervisor, he gets there and asks what’s the problem.
As the situation unfolds, you find out that a few days ago the country you just landed in has changed its policy towards gun owners and all those engaged in the gun industry.
All this because you had a photo with someone else’s gun on Facebook. Or because you work at Walmart which sells guns. Can you imagine that?
That wouldn’t be right, wouldn’t it?
Now you’re forced to stay at the airport because you can’t leave it and step on foreign soil because of your past. You have to pay for a ticket back home, which means you just lost a few hundred dollars.
Worst case scenario, you have to spend the night at a hotel, or at the airport. Also, now you gotta pay a few thousand dollars to go back home. Your vacation just got ruined.
All this just because you’re a proud gun owner.
In my opinion that’s not right—that’s basically taking away people’s rights and freedoms.
Countries shouldn’t discriminate against their visitors based on employment or personal preferences.
Sure, America may be the “land of the free, home of the brave”, but it’s also home to a lot of discrimination.
This type of benign discrimination needs to stop before more people are affected.
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