Are you planning to visit Canada from the States to do a little cannabis tourism? You should plan any such trip very carefully for a couple of reasons.
First, the border between the US and Canada is not quite like any given province, state, or territory within either country. Especially if you are carrying marijuana, or if you even admit to having smoked it or taken any other drug at any point in your past. This is because border agents on both sides of the border can and do apply federal laws on drugs that may actually be in conflict with state laws in the US, but which are the applicable law when you cross the border.
That’s because even though cannabis is legalized for medicinal use and even recreational use in a growing number of states in America, it is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by federal laws. That means that it’s considered a narcotic, and you will be arrested if you try to return to the US from Canada, having legally purchased marijuana across the border.
Not only that, if you are a Canadian or any other foreigner trying to enter the country, US Customs and Border Patrol agents can and may ask you if you have ever used drugs at any point in your past. If you admit to that, you can be refused entry and given a lifetime ban on entering the US.
And with US Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading a policy of cracking down on any federal violations of cannabis – in other words, consuming it in any way or even worse transporting and/or selling it – you’re best not to just take your chances on border crossings. So, what should you do if you indeed plan on visiting Canada, and perhaps have a record of being arrested for possessing cannabis?
That’s where Temporary Residence Permits become a solution. Here’s how.
What is a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP)?
A TRP is a document that allows a person who is NOT admissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, either as a temporary resident or as a permanent resident, to enter or remain in Canada.
Maxcan has a detailed page about TRPs here where you can learn more about how to apply for a TRP if you need one. If you are not sure what to do, call Maxcan at our head office in Markham, Ontario at 1-855-562-5188 for assistance.
Coming to Canada with a Criminal Record
So, if you have been charged with a DUI crime connected with use of cannabis and you have not been jailed, then you may be eligible for a TRP along with not having to pay the CAD$200 processing fee. So, if you’re still thinking of travelling to Canada for a cannabis shopping trip, make sure you’re admissible to Canada and you should also realize that US federal laws apply at the border when you return home to the US.