Manitoba Senator Don Plett isn't looking forward to his next trip to America, which could be his last if border agents ask the Canadian lawmaker about his marijuana use.
"I have smoked marijuana when I was 18 years old, and I may be asked that question," Senator Plett said yesterday during a Senate committee hearing. Even though the incident took place 50 years ago, answering the question honestly means that Plett could get slapped with a lifetime ban from entering America - even border states like Washington that have legalized recreational as well as medicinal cannabis use.
That's what happened to Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who gained international notoriety in the 90s after testing positive for marijuana following the Nagano Olympics. And if border agents are willing to ban a gold medallist, they probably won't hesitate to bar entry from a Canadian lawmaker.
Senator Plett worries that many other Canadians could face the same problem in the wake of the federal government's plan to legalize recreational marijuana across the country. But Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair believes those fears are unfounded.
"Frankly, I've crossed the border myself hundreds of times. I've never been asked about illegal drug use," Blair told the Senate's Social Affairs, Science and Technology committee yesterday. "I do not anticipate that it will be a significant issue for Canadians."
But Senator Plett wasn't swayed by Blair's reassurance. So he jokingly called on Blair to release his personal information so that Canadians can give him an earful if they get into hot water along the border.
"Hope you give us your phone number [so] that we can call you from the border," Plett said to Blair.
h/t Huffington Post