The Canadian government is set to legalize marijuana recreationally in 2018, and while most aspects of the new laws seem to be going smoothly, there is one giant obstacle that hasn't been figured out: the United States.
Marijuana is still illegal in the United States at the federal level and only allowed for medicinal purposes in most states. Canada's Minister of Public Safety Mark Holland gave an interview recently to discusses the country's legalization efforts and how that will affect relations with their southern neighbor.
Holland says he's working closely with the U.S. government to determine the best border policies regarding marijuana. In June, the U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John F. Kelly said he didn't want to put up additional barriers at border crossings. But that doesn't mean there aren't concerns. A Canadian privacy commissioner pointed out that U.S. border patrol is allowed to examine computers, phones, electronic devices and even demand passwords. Meanwhile, the Canadian border agency is only allowed to conduct searches if there's grounds for suspicion.
Another problem is Canadians aren't afforded the same rights in the United States as other countries' citizens. For instance, American Judicial Redress Act allows people from many European countries to demand redress if they feel their privacy has been violated when entering the border. Canadians are not included in the law.
Holland recommended that Canadian citizens be honest when approaching the United State border, even if it means they could get turned away. He said, “Ultimately the decision that they make is their decision as a foreign jurisdiction … you always have to be honest and tell the truth at the border.”
But considering how many Americans threatened to move to Canada when Trump was elected, why would so many Canadians be coming to the United States in the first place?