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New York to Increase Border Patrol Upon Marijuana Legalization in Canada


In July 2018, legal recreational marijuana sales begin in Canada. Border Patrol Agents in New York are getting ready to step-up enforcement. You cannot make a legal purchase in Canada and bring it across the U.S. Border, and vice versa.

Some officials in Canada are already expecting New Yorkers to come to its government-operated shop close to U.S. borders, WGRZ 2 News reports. Those planning to cross the border to purchase and/or use marijuana should also remember one thing – if an agent smells marijuana (even if it’s just on your clothes), you can be taken for “further questioning”. Take a change of clothes with you or stay a little bit to let the aroma simmer down.

Aaron Bowker, Chief U.S. Customs & Border Protection, said, “If you go over there, woo hoo for you for the weekend, but when you’re coming across the border, it’s illegal. Marijuana legalization in Canada is not federally recognized in the United States, it is still an illegal substance in the U.S. At the border, that would be subject to seizure and depending on the amount, the person could possibly be arrested.”

Bowker also said, “If we do find something we’re going to go down that course of action where is there a seizure, is there enough in the car for a seizure or was it residual, meaning did you use the substance in the car and then you drove, which presents a separate problem which is, are you driving while impaired?”

The New York State Police, Customs, and Border Control do work tightly together.

Bowker said, “Even the littlest amount can result in a fine and nobody wants to pay that fine. If you’re a foreign national your rights to travel into the country could be removed, depending on the amount and if you’re a green card holder, it could interrupt your status.”

The point that Border Patrol Agents are trying to make is – don’t commit an international marijuana crime. If you purchase in Canada, use it in Canada and make sure nothing on you or in your vehicle smells like marijuana.