The life-long ban on the 21 years-old was reversed two weeks after its implementation. The ban was implemented when the student at the University of Guelph crossed the American border with a bottle of CBD oil in her back-pack. This news makes every cannabis lover think twice before carrying any cannabis derivate across the border.
How the story goes
The security asked if she was carrying any ‘leafy greens’ or alcohol any other item that should be reported. This incident happens at point Roberts while going from British Columbia to Washington D.C. CBD oil or any cannabis derivative is legalized in both of these territories. Due to which she didn’t seem it was necessary to mention CBD. She had shifted to CBD from pain killers to manage the painful symptoms of Scoliosis.
She explained that she takes CBD daily and it is not psychoactive. On the mention of the word ‘leafy green’, she thought of marijuana and not it’s derivative. She didn’t under the need to declare it. Border security is under the jurisdiction of Federal Law. Under federal all derivatives of cannabis are illegal. This is the clause that formed the basis of this ban.
Upon the discovery of CBD, she was fined 500$ and told not enter the American Territory. The entry with certain restrictions was possible through the waiver that cost 800$. This fee was just to apply for the waiver, acceptance or denial was a whole other deal. Federal laws are supreme and filing of the waiver is a complicated and lengthy process. Even with the acceptance of it, there is an issue of yearly renewal that can cost a lot of money. Furthermore, the data of this illegal act would stay in the system forever. An honest mistake turned into the ordeal of a lifetime. Every time crosses the border to meet her parents this would pop-up.
The story was in media and then an immigration lawyer chooses this case. Within two weeks, the ban was reversed. Len Saunders, the lawyer threw light on the inconsistencies of the law. At the border, one cannot be too sure about what is legal and what is not. The cannabis derivatives fall in the grey area between legal and illegal.
Clash in Federal and State Laws
Having these inconsistencies with the law, there will be more of such incidents. The cases similar to these are meant to increase in the future. Canada has legalized the recreational use of Marijuana. Cannabis derivatives like topical creams, CBD oil, and many other products are making their way to the Canadian markets.
In March Saunders spoke in front of the National Committee on Security and Defense about this issue. He elaborated by taking Justin Trudeau as an example. The PM of Canada has openly admitted to smoke marijuana. Thus he is not admissible to enter the U.S. He currently travels on a diplomatic visa. Outside the office, he is not admissible without applying for a waiver.