A new statistic shows an increase in the number of reported cases of cannabis confiscations by 60% and this is after it’s been legalised.
The Canada Border Services Agency links this to a request they had made earlier last fall, asking people whether they were carrying cannabis into the country. According to their records, around 329 instances of cannabis had been either forfeited or seized by border officials in just six weeks. That’s more than the 204 instances in 2017.
What’s behind it?
Canadians can possess and share 30 grams of legal cannabis but it’s illegal to carry it across international borders and is punishable by law.So Canadians can only buy, possess, use and transfer marijuana purchased legally in and around Canadian states. They can’t take it across their borders into the US or any other country. It works the same way for Americans too.
Simultaneously, travellers can’t even bring cannabis into Canada, even if they are coming from a place where marijuana is legal.
Recreational use of marijuana has the been legal since October 10
Just before legalization took place, officers made it a point to ask those travelling in and out Canada whether they were carrying cannabis, only to prevent any unnecessary legal conflicts or violations.
The Canada Border Services Agency has stated that all marijuana has to be declared or risk arrest and prosecution.
Mark Belanger, a lawyer at the Vancouver based Border Solutions Law Group says that these people aren’t walking into anything negative outcomes. He also says that while it’s still to early to understand or assess this trend, he will have ‘better anecdotal evidence’ on what’s really taking place.
The agency also faced a similar interception ordeal in those same six weeks with parcels addressed to Canadian citizens. Around 1980 packages were found to be contraband, These had been found between October 17th to November 30th, 2018. A significant increase from the 241 cases in 2018.
So that’s a total of 2309 packages and still a big jump from the 445 parcels the year before. These numbers are inclusive of declared and undeclared cannabis as uncovered by the CBSA.
The agency could not provide further details or even indicate how many confiscation type instances it comprised of, due to legal and system limitations.
Legalisation of cannabis use has nothing to do with it
In response to The Canadian Press, the agency stated that the it was the focused effort that lead to this cannabis interdiction, or rather an increase in it. As for those parcels, they said that there was a postal disruption last fall. This prevented a lot of packages from reaching their final destinations and due to which they were able to process all shipment back logs.
All courier, commercial shipments, mails and even travellers are subject to Canada’s Customs Act and have to be scanned for prohibited goods and items which also include cannabis and CBD derivative products.
Who else does this affect?
Canadians who employed in cannabis companies, entrepreneurs investing in this industry and those using it for medicinal or recreational use might not be allowed to travel to or enter the US. In fact, they could even be facing a life time ban as well.
In fact, just recently a Canadian investor making his way to Las Vegas to review and invest in a possible, new cannabis production facility had been informed by an immigration lawyer that he was given a lifetime ban, preventing him from entering the US.
The US Customs and Border Protection states that they have to enforce those federal regulations and laws that categorise cannabis as a banned good. This means that all participants of cannabis usage and manufacturing will be treated as drug traffickers, and as such won’t be permitted across US borders.