In the wake of reports that the US is already banning entry to Canadians, some indefinitely, who use or work in the cannabis industry, Rep. Lou Correa from California is speaking up.
“We are concerned DHS is unnecessarily and disproportionally penalizing noncitizens who are engaged in lawful business activities,” reads a draft letter obtained by Marijuana Moment, which Correa sent to Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.
The letter comes just days after a senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Politico that “facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect an individual’s admissibility to the U.S.”
Up to now, it has not been clear how border agents decide who and what to ask of visitors coming from Canada about their marijuana use or involvement in the cannabis industry.
“We strongly urge DHS to clarify admission policies and procedures at U.S. ports of entry to help ensure transparency of such processes,” Correa’s letter reads.
“The role that CBP plays in processing thousands of foreign nationals who come to the United States daily to conduct business is critical not only to the success of our economy, but also the safety and security of the American people,” continued Correa in his letter.
Correa is asking Kirstjen to clarify by October 1 how the DHS intends to “evaluate and determine that an authorized foreign national is associated with the cannabis industry” and how it will “determine that secondary questioning of an authorized foreign national associated with the cannabis industry is appropriate.”
He would also like to know what defense individuals will have if they are forced to undergo additional questioning at the border.
Full legalization of marijuana in Canada is set to take effect on Oct. 17, 2018.