VIDEO: MP Masse Chastises Feds On Marijuana Preparation
Less than one week ahead of recreational marijuana becoming legal in Canada, the M.P. for Windsor West says our government hasn't done enough to get people ready.
Brian Masse says particularly at the border here in Windsor, there has been very little done to prepare those who cross regularly.
The NDP member says the only notification is a single piece of mail, that hasn't reached all residents, that explains potential consequences.
Masse is telling people that they need to understand while marijuana will be legal in Canada, it is still illegal when you cross the border.
"Despite the fact that individual states will be including a recreational use of cannabis, as part of their daily lives, the reality is on the border it is still a narcotic it is still a controlled substance it is still something that is illegal entering and exiting the US"
Meanwhile a statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency says anyone working in the legal pot industry in Canada will "generally be admissable" as long as the visit to the U.S. is unrelated to the marijuana industry.
But it is also states a traveler who is found to be coming to the U.S. for reasons related to the marijuana industry "may be deemed inadmissible."
Masse is reminding everyone to speak with family members who may be pot users.
"I'm encouraging people to maybe have those awkward conversations with your family members. If you have a job over in the U.S. if you have dependency of your daily activities and family, make sure that is not in cars, is not in your materials that you are crossing with"
Masse is calling on everyone to make sure your car is free of any marijuana and to know all the facts before you cross the border.
"If somebody you give a ride to at one point in time accidentally leaves something in your car and you're later pulled over and have a consequence because the reality is it's just the mere fact we've normalized this in our society in our daily life mistakes can happen"
Bill Blair, Canada's Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, tells CTV News the clarification issued by American officials is helpful.
"We always knew that if someone in Canada indicated they were going to the U.S. to engage in the marijuana business, that they would be prohibited from coming as it remains illegal in the US"
Blair adds that Canada will make an effort to remind people of the consequences.
"So we'll have signs up and there'll be education marerials but we have to constantly remind Canadians that you can't take any amount of cannabis across the border into the US"
The official statement from the U.S. C.B.P. states: "Generally, any arriving alien who is determined to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is convicted of, admits having committed, or admits committing, acts which constitute the essential elements of a violation of (or an attempt or conspiracy to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance, is inadmissible to the United States.
A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible."
— with files from AM800's Rusty Thomson and Manny Paiva