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Quebec’s cannabis agency examines cases of Canadians denied access across southern border

October 17th, 2018 is around the corner, and marijuana will then be legal in the country.

Even though this is considered to be legislation that is widely agreed upon by progressives, CBC reports that is is now causing some problems with Canada’s more conservative neighbours to the south.

The SQDC

The Société québécois du Cannabis (SQDC), the provincial cannabis board being developed by the government, has been closely examining the legal ramifications of Canadians who work in the pot industry and that suffer from strict border procedures by the United States.

Unfortunately, there is little that the SQDC can possibly do to persuade the United States government from turning down Canadian visitors.

Jean-François Bergeron, SQDC executive, says, “I think the citizens have to be protected. It’s as simple as that… We are obviously concerned.”

Bergeron explained that the issues between the US and Canada must be solved by their respective capitals, Washington and Ottawa, but that the SQDC will endeavour to protect any employee stuck at the border.

On one hand cannabis has been mostly legalized in some US states like Vermont, California and Washington.  On the other hand, federally, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I substance, alongside drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Canadians have been having more rigorous interrogations on the border than average.  In one example, one Canadian was banned from the US in 2016 after he admitted to ingesting marijuana as a teenager.

In many other cases, Canadian cannabis investors have been banned from entering the USA entirely.

Legality

An immigration lawyer at Montreal’s legal aid office, Éric Taillefer claims that at the end of the day, it is all about the customs agent who has the final word on whether or not they allow Canadians across the border.

He continues by explaining that even if a citizen has not necessarily been convicted of a crime in their country, they can still be turned down from entry.

America’s drug crisis

The United States of America is having their own dilemma regarding drugs.  According to Bloomberg, tens of thousands of Americans have overdosed last year, and the numbers are continuing to rise.

Americans are losing their lives over hard drugs like opioids, and substances like fentanyl are often mixed in with street drugs and heroin.

Just days ago, TMZ News reported the loss of one of America’s most internationally recognized artists due to drug overdose, Mac Miller; who, at the time of his death, was only 26 years of age.

Jonathan Wasserlauf

Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.

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