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US immigration laws can put lifetime entry ban on cannabis users

As it stands currently, anyone who crosses the border between Canada and the U. S. who admits to using cannabis before Oct. 17, 2018, when restrictions on the use of this substance were lifted in Canada, could receive a lifetime ban on entering the United States. British Columbia residents might feel at ease when they travel to Washington State because recreational marijuana use is legal in that state. However, it remains illegal under federal laws, and as long as that remains the case, U.S. immigration laws will prohibit entry by anyone who has anything to do with cannabis.

Although border authorities warned that even marijuana-related investors, business owners and their employees would be denied access and could be permanently banned, they have slackened that stance. Previously, they maintained that people working in the marijuana industry were dealing and distributing drugs. The latest ruling is that those involved in the industry will be allowed to cross the border as long as the reason for their travels does not involve cannabis.

However, the question remains about previous use. These marijuana industry business owners or employees will continue to be on shaky ground because it is very likely that they were cannabis users before Oct. 17. Authorities believe that many people in Canada are unaware of the restrictions, and they might feel comfortable admitting to marijuana use before that date.

British Columbia residents who consider travelling to across the border will always be advised to consult with a lawyer who is up to date with U.S. immigration laws. With changing laws, it might save time and frustration at the border if travellers are fully informed about their rights and know how to protect their own interests. An experienced immigration lawyer can also assist with obtaining visas and preparing the necessary documentation for such trips.