It’s now legal for adults to smoke pot in Canada. But some Canadians have found themselves barred – possibly permanently – if they admit at the U.S. border that they have used marijuana.
Estevan, Saskatchewan, is just 10 miles north of the border with North Dakota. The town’s mayor, Roy Ludwig, told the CBC that residents have been turned away at the border for admitting to marijuana use.
“It is a fairly serious concern,” Ludwig said. “Even people that might have smoked it 20, 30 years ago, they’re being asked, ‘Have you ever smoked cannabis?’ when they get to the U.S. border. We understand some people have said yes, that they have, and have been turned back.”
And the concern is not only that they won’t be able to enter the U.S. once – but that they can be banned permanently.
That’s what happened to Bill Powers, a 57-year-old Canadian who has a medical marijuana license, The Los Angeles Times reported. Border agents asked if Powers had ever smoked pot before getting the license. When he said he had, he was labeled “inadmissible” and barred from entering the U.S.