Although Michigan residents are set to solve this issue for themselves here in just a few days, the issue of marijuana becoming legal in Canada has raised some questions here in Michigan. Does the legalization of pot by our northern neighbors affect the Great Lakes State in any way? What about the border? Can you bring weed that you purchased legally in Canada back to Michigan? Let’s take a look…
It’s been less than two weeks since pot was legalized in Canada!
On October 17th, Canada passed The Cannabis Act, which makes them the second country in the world to legalize marijuana after Uruguay. What does mean for Canadians? It means that, under their new law, adults can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana at a time, but Canadian provinces and territories are allowed to make additional restrictions. Households (not individuals!) are allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants for personal use. But none of that matters once you cross the border!
Michigan shares borders with Canada, but not laws!
Michigan shares a 721 mile border with the Canadian province of Ontario, with border posts located in four places – two up in the U.P, and two along the edge of the Detroit-metro area. According to stats provided by the Border Customs officials, these four border posts see some of the heaviest traffic between the two countries. But while it’s only a short drive and a brief wait to cross from one country to another for most Michiganians, we’re still a world apart when it comes to the issue of legalized marijuana.
You may have bought it legally, but you can’t bring it back to Michigan!
If you cross the border and spend the day in Canada, you can purchase marijuana and consume it there without fear of legal backlash (as long as you’re following the rules!). But this isn’t anything like your average buy-a-bottle-of-cheap-booze-from-the-duty-free-shop situation. Any weed you buy in Canada you have to consume or leave in Canada. Because you can’t bring it back over the border into Michigan!
Federal law supersedes state law!
Despite the fact that Michigan has legalized marijuana during our most recent vote, that won’t change the fact that the borders between countries are manned by federal employees. And marijuana in any form, for any reason, is not recognized as being legal by the federal government here in the U.S. So if you try to cross a border, whether you’re going out or heading back in, with any amount of an illegal substance with you, you’re going to get into trouble!
What happens if you get busted with pot at the border?
If you are busted trying to cross the border with illegal drugs, you could:
- Be detained and arrested
- Be charged with federal drug trafficking crimes
- Be denied entry into Canada,or back into the United States
- Be fined
- Have your drugs, and possibly other items and money, seized
Drug charges are no joke! Take this warning seriously.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, we provide legal representation for people accused of drug crimes in Michigan’s state courts, and in federal courts. If you or a loved one have been accused of drug crimes here in Michigan, call us today at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) and talk to one of our skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys. We can help you with this complex and stressful situation today.