U.S. worried about Canuck pot?
By Allison Buchan-Terrell
Canada is being dubbed the new Amsterdam with its proposed
marijuana legislation, causing American officials to worry
their citizens will travel North to enjoy Mary Jane more than
Anne of Green Gables.
Surveillance at the United States border will be bumped up
in response to pending marijuana decriminalization legislation.
According to an article in the Toronto Star, U.S. Ambassador
Paul Cellucci said the increased surveillance stems from the
perception that Canada is lowering punishment for pot use.
“The whole perception is that it is going to be legal,” said
Ron Moran, president of the Customs Excise Union. “[People
will have] less concern in terms of trafficking [being] no
longer threatened by a criminal record.”
“We disagree in regards to the perception issue — [marijuana]
will remain illegal in Canada,” said Rodney Moore, spokesperson
for Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa. “Incorrect
perceptions do little to help the situation.”
The U.S can choose to deny entry to Canadians in possession
of marijuana, and it has the right to make its own rules that
visitors must comply with, Moore said.
The American embassy declined comment.
“If it happens, there is going to be a growing number
of people coming [to Canada] to party,” Moran said, noting
that it could cause a higher number of transactions.
“We are sensitive to the issue of illicit drugs going
across the border in both directions,” Moore stressed. “Customs
will be more aware [and be] watching more sharply.”
He emphasized that drug trafficking is a problem for both
countries, adding that Canadian-American relations are a model
of co-operation, citing the Smart Border Initiative put forward
Pete Young, from the Organic Traveller in London, said he
hopes that pot-craving Americans do come north to satisfy their
need for weed, as they would boost the economy. Young added
that he encourages Americans to come to Canada for weed and
have a safe, enjoyable time. He boasted marijuana as “one
of the safer materials we have [in Canada].”