Border Disorder: Cannabis Workers Face Greater Risks Entering U.S.

Border Illness: Cannabis Workers Face Greater Risks Entering U.S.

By, Kate Robertson

Cheryl Shuman has been called the “Martha Stewart of marijuana” because of her dominance in the global cannabis industry, a role that has her traveling about 200,000 miles annually for work. But Shuman says she still feels terrified every time she must interact with border agents.

“I wouldn’t say it’s funny because I still sweat bullets each time,” she told Marijuana.com on the telephone from Los Angeles. “People like me have to be careful and follow the laws. ”

As an activist and a public figure, Shuman said she considers her activities are being tracked by federal authorities in america and she and her network of cannabis insiders face probing questions overseas.

Only last spring, a customs agent spotted the emblem on her Mexican colleague’s business card when they flew from Mexico City to Los Angeles following the Canna Mexico World Summit, a May 2018 assembly of international business, political and cannabis industry leaders. The emblem prompted questions about work, which prompted Shuman to speak glowingly of this event and that former President Vicente Fox spoke of ending prohibition there. The colleague was detained for 18 hours, and Shuman said she stayed with him. Since, Shuman has found herself stopped and questioned more often when she&rsquo.

Cheryl Shuman spoke in Mexico City at the CannaMexico World Summit in May 2018. Since the summit, Shuman considers that U.S. authorities are closely tracking her and her business activities. (Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Shuman)

With Canada set to legalize recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is reminding travelers that American federal laws remain unchanged. There has been an increase in the number of cases of Canadians facing lifetime bans into the U.S. due to their use of or participation in cannabis, said Washington-based immigration lawyer Len Saunders. And for Americans interested in touring rsquo & Canada;s bud scene that is authorized, it’s a crucial time to brush up before planning a trip.

American citizens are constantly allowed back in the country, but because the Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis is a Schedule I drug, possessing it could lead to having it confiscated, your arrest or a fine, experts said.

All arriving travelers, irrespective of citizenship, are subject to CBP inspection, and CBP officers have a wide latitude to question travelers during that inspection process including about using controlled substances,” an agency spokesperson told Marijuana.com by email. “every CBP inspection differs, and questions may arise during the course of a meeting at any time, While CBP officers won’t ask every person about their use of marijuana or affiliation with the market.

The British Columbia-Washington boundary is one of the busiest ports of entry between Canada and the United States, and Saunders reported that he’s helped numerous Canadian clients seeking to cross it that were unaware that while cannabis is legal in Washington state, the boundary itself is administered by federal officials who uphold federal law.

“the majority of these officers they push by marijuana stores on their way to work,” Saunders told Marijuana.com in  a telephone interview from Blaine. “you might physically you can physically see one of the bud stores from the Peace Arch point of entrance.

Cheryl Shuman and Dr. Oscar Prospéro García of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) School of Medicine were panelists at the CannaMexico World Summit in May 2018 in Mexico City. (Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Shuman)

Non-Americans who admit to ever consuming cannabis, have invested in cannabis companies, or work in the business can face lifetime bans that require a $535 waiver for re-entry. Technically, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has admitted to trying marijuana, could be deemed inadmissible by CBP.

Saunders said the worst thing that can happen for non-criminal action such as possessing drug paraphernalia or working in the business, travelers are able to lose a status with habits lines that are shorter, their Nexus card.

Both Saunders and Shuman advise all travelers to avoid wearing stereotypical stoner equipment like tie-dye, or industry-branded apparel with logos of cannabis plants. Officers will be given reasons to ask questions about weed by those. If CBP asks to seek a device such as a cell phone, you’re not legally obligated to deliver your password — but Americans can be arrested before theyrsquo;re allowed in, and they could keep your device for up to five days.

Rather than picking up your device yourself, Saunders advised asking a friend to do it on your behalf: “Should you go yourself, you could open yourself up to more interrogation.

Released at Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:42:20 +0000

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