Marijuana becomes fully legal in Canada in October. And if you believe polling, Michigan may soon follow. Two countries of one mind, with a few minor issues to work out at the bridge and the tunnel? Think again.
The Washington Post looks at complications legal weed poses at international borders, particularly those in Washington state, which legalized marijuana four years ago, and at our Detroit River neighboring (or neighbouring) cities.
Windsor has long been a party destination for young Americans because 19-year-olds can legally drink and gamble there, two years earlier than in most of the United States. The city is fully expecting tourists of all ages to come smoke marijuana, which is legal for medical purposes in Michigan.
At Higher Limits Cannabis Lounge, where adults smoke medical marijuana while sitting on couches or bar stools and smoking devices including bongs are prominently displayed, co-owner Jon Liedtke has big plans to welcome American tourists.
“We definitely are not going to miss out on the opportunity,” he said. Liedtke sees Canada as on the vanguard, just the second country to nationally legalize recreational marijuana after Uruguay, which began legal sales in 2017. But he worries about U.S. law. “All of the Americans are going to be welcome. Getting back, though, is going to be an issue.”
Yes, a big issue. “Crossing the border with marijuana is prohibited and could potentially result in seizure, fines, and apprehension,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells the paper. And get this:
Customs and Border Protection also can ask Canadians whether they have ever used drugs, and if they say yes or refuse to answer, they can be barred from entering the United States for life.
If you’re so inclined, it’s probably best to smoke local until the kinks are worked out. Less than an ounce for personal consumption is legal in the city of Detroit. You can always get stoned and take a stroll on the Riverwalk, visiting Canada only in your buzzy little brain.