Bor­der re­al­ity check on cannabis — get ready

The Hamilton Spectator - - Opinion -

Se­nior Amer­i­can bor­der of­fi­cials con­firm what many have al­ready warned: If you have any­thing to do with the le­gal cannabis business in Canada, you aren’t wel­come in the U.S.

That is, if you smoke it, if you have in­vested, if you work in it or a re­lated field, you can be turned back at the bor­der and banned from en­ter­ing the coun­try. That screech you hear is the rub­ber hit­ting the road. Is it a rea­son­able po­si­tion to take? Of course not. Nine states in their own coun­try al­low recre­ational use of cannabis. It’s not a sen­si­ble or busi­nesslike way to treat your clos­est neigh­bour. But in Don­ald Trump’s Amer­ica, this is what we get.

So check your in­vest­ment port­fo­lio. If you as much as own a mu­tual fund that has in­ter­est in le­gal mar­i­juana, you can be de­nied en­try. How much own­er­ship? Bor­der au­thor­i­ties aren’t say­ing, so the only safe as­sump­tion is none.

Some have crit­i­cized Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau for not putting pres­sure on Wash­ing­ton. He has not and should not. It’s their bor­der and it’s their business. Cannabis is still a crime in U.S. fed­eral law, and the gov­ern­ment can al­low or dis­al­low who it wants from cross­ing their sov­er­eign bor­der.

Our ad­vice? Stay home and spend your money here or in an­other ju­ris­dic­tion where Cana­di­ans are still ap­pre­ci­ated.

Le­gal­iz­ing cannabis for recre­ational use still makes sense for a host of le­gal, law-en­force­ment and so­cial rea­sons. But there’s no free lunch. This is a cost we will have to pay un­til the United States has sen­si­ble lead­er­ship again. Sooner or later, that’s bound to hap­pen.

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