The prohibition of cannabis in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada has come to an end, and although the substance was legalized in the state of Washington as far back as 2012, taking it across international borders is still illegal. U.S. immigration laws are based on the fact that marijuana possession is against federal law. This is despite the fact that it is legal in both British Columbia and the state of Washington.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently met with British Columbia Premier John Horgan. He says the midterm elections in the United States might bring about changes that will make it easier for British Columbia people to bring cannabis across the border. However, he says tourists would be wise to leave their marijuana behind to avoid difficulty when they cross the border into the United States.
Inslee says he anticipates rapid and significant changes after the federal government elections in 2020 and predicts that the cannabis issues will somehow be resolved in time. It appears he suspects the U.S. federal laws that still make marijuana possession illegal in any quantity or form will change after those elections. A Canadian government website that covers legal reform also warned Canadians that it remains unlawful to take cannabis across international borders.
While reform moves along at a steady pace, it might be a good idea for British Columbia cannabis users who plan trips across the border to consult with a lawyer who is up to date with related U.S. immigration laws. Legal counsel can explain the rights of travellers who cross international borders. Being informed and prepared can avoid unnecessary difficulty during border crossings.