Travel

How Many are Asked about Cannabis by US immigration?

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  • May 1st, 2019 10:55 pm
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2017
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How Many are Asked about Cannabis by US immigration?

My mom is terrified to join a family holiday in the US because she fears being asked about cannabis use at Pearson. She’s 68 and uses it medicinally a couple times per week. I understand the US makes no distinction between prescription and recreational use. How often do they actually ask? Is it an automatic ban if one answers yes? I assume if you’re asked in the first place, the person asking would ban you.

Anyway, it’s a big family trip and I’d love her to come with. I see her point though in having her trip and money wasted at the airport. Can anyone provide and recent experience or knowledge?
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Oct 6, 2015
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benjicash wrote: My mom is terrified to join a family holiday in the US because she fears being asked about cannabis use at Pearson. She’s 68 and uses it medicinally a couple times per week. I understand the US makes no distinction between prescription and recreational use.
Does she have a legitimate medical authorization for the medication? Obviously she can't take the medication to the United States without DEA authorization, nor convey any intent to use such medication without legitimate authorization in the US, but the mere fact of using a legally prescribed medication in Canada is not a bar to entry in the United States.

Having said that, unless she travels with, and displays obvious paraphernalia associated with use on her personal effects, actually being asked about it is rare.
How often do they actually ask?
For a 68-year-old that doesn't have cannabis leaf stickers plastered on her cell phone, or lots of visible tattoos, rarely...
Is it an automatic ban if one answers yes?
No. The officer has to then determine whether or not the use in Canada was contrary to law, or alternatively, if there is an intent to use, traffic, or possess in the United States contrary to US Federal Law.

The people who are 'banned' from the United States almost always exhibit evidence of illegal use in Canada, or an intent to illegally use/possess/traffic in the United States.
I assume if you’re asked in the first place, the person asking would ban you.
Its not that simple.
Anyway, it’s a big family trip and I’d love her to come with. I see her point though in having her trip and money wasted at the airport. Can anyone provide and recent experience or knowledge?
I don't know anyone who's been asked. Those who have been banned, either have recorded convictions for illicit use in Canada, or exhibit significant signs of intent to violate US Federal Law.
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2017
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Thanks very much for the information.
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burnt69 wrote: For a 68-year-old that doesn't have cannabis leaf stickers plastered on her cell phone, or lots of visible tattoos, rarely...
Lots of tattoos is an indicator of cannabis use?!? Who knew?
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Conquistador wrote: Lots of tattoos is an indicator of cannabis use?!? Who knew?
No, only lots of visible tattoos.... if all your tattoos are covered, then you're not a cannabis user
I swear to drunk I'm not God 😝
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Nov 6, 2011
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roblombardi wrote: No, only lots of visible tattoos.... if all your tattoos are covered, then you're not a cannabis user
Oh damn I can't cross the border anymore then :(
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Marijuana is illegal in the US,. It is against the federal law. Even though there are 30 or more states that have legalized medicinal or recreational use, the federal law is unchanged. https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/8/2 ... ing-system

Will you be questioned? Who knows, depends on the agent. Can they barr you? Yes. Will they barr you? Who knows. Some of those agents (American and Canadian), are a-holes.)
https://globalnews.ca/news/4549276/marijuana-us-border/
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker ... -1.4865696
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but my suggestion would be - lie (if asked). I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
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Chickinvic wrote: I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but my suggestion would be - lie (if asked). I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
That’s too funny. These border guards aren’t that dumb.
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Oct 23, 2017
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I think my lying skills are up to this. But seriously, I have never had this question and I cross the border about 5 - 10 times per year. Of course, they tend to fuss less with us grey-haired folks. But I pay for my CBD in cash - no trail there.
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jackrabbit000 wrote: That’s too funny. These border guards aren’t that dumb.
Are they all knowing? They don't know she smoked a joint last week. She has far more likely hood of encountering a problem with one if she admits it.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Chickinvic wrote: Are they all knowing? They don't know she smoked a joint last week. She has far more likely hood of encountering a problem with one if she admits it.
They are not all knowing

But, they have excellent skills in lie detection (body language, tells etc). So her lies may give her away if she is asked, or her nervousness if not.
It’s a crap shoot

There was a similar RFD topic here when the Law changed (October 17, 2018) ... and there were very few folks asked anything about Marijuana
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/has-anyo ... n-2231612/

We live near the border, and have crossed many times since October, and this Question has not been asked
Nor have we heard of it being asked of any of our friends or family members who also cross often

But ... and this is extremely important

If she is carrying any drugs, or drug paraphernalia (pipes, papers, etc) could land her in trouble

Just as much as if she has an “odour of use” about her ... the last especially so if this trip involves a flight. The airport drug dogs are pretty tough to outwit.

So best advice... leave all the drugs at home... and travel with clean clothes (even overcoats, boots etc) and well aired Luggage. Dogs can pick up even the slightest whiff of second hand smoke... cuz just like legal cigarette smokers, the smell gets into everything, the smoker just doesn’t smell it themselves
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PointsHubby wrote:
If she is carrying any drugs, or drug paraphernalia (pipes, papers, etc) could land her in trouble

Just as much as if she has an “odour of use” about her ... the last especially so if this trip involves a flight. The airport drug dogs are pretty tough to outwit.

So best advice... leave all the drugs at home... and travel with clean clothes (even overcoats, boots etc) and well aired Luggage. Dogs can pick up even the slightest whiff of second hand smoke... cuz just like legal cigarette smokers, the smell gets into everything, the smoker just doesn’t smell it themselves
Yup, that is my takeaway from watching all those Border Security episodes. A very educational show for all who encounter border officers. Of course, they also educate would-be smugglers as to what not to do.. They can only show the cases they caught, whereas many illegal drugs and shipments do make it through. They would like you to think that they are 99% effective at smoking out contraband.
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From my understanding they really don’t care what you do in your free time so the fact it is (now) legal in Canada is a moot point (and 4x visits to the US since legalization I’ve never been asked). Obviously.....Do NOT carry it with you & don’t show up “under the influence” (of any drug or alcohol).

There are a few destinations served everyday by airlines arriving to Canada that tend to spark interest (re: drugs) that tends to result in a secondary inspection. I’ve personally been asked/witnessed and heard from many others that the main concern is that you are not carrying the illegal substance with you and are even told “they aren’t there to judge what you do on your personal time but if you have been around it / are you carrying even a little bit of it back with you?”.
^whether this is a method of coaxing someone to admit they are smuggling is a different story.

At the end of they day if your criminal history is clean they don’t care what substance of choice you are doing on your free time.
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BrunetteGirl wrote: There are a few destinations served everyday by airlines arriving to Canada that tend to spark interest (re: drugs) that tends to result in a secondary inspection.
Right. One time the dog sniffed us out for something benign and legal. The agent was very annoyed and said he was wasting his time with us because "a flight from Jamaica" had just arrived LOL.

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