I hope you all had a filling, loving, and relaxing holiday season with family and friends! Tis the holiday season, and for many states legalization is truly a gift. So it was definitely a moment of jealousy from the United States when Canada announced cannabis legalization in June. As expected, many Americans packed up and headed to the border, and many Canadians packed up their pot and headed south. Well many of them were stopped right at the border, boosting border arrests over 100% since last year.
Canada officially legalized October 17, 2018 and ever since arrests have increased strikingly at the Western New York ports of entry. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said the Western District and United State Customs and Border Patrol took extensive measures to increase border security upon announcement. Canadians may posses up to 30 grams of legal cannabis purchased in Canada, but may not take any of it across the border into the U.S. New York is a medical legal state, but also has heavy restrictions on transporting cannabis across border lines. More than 85 pounds was seized this years, and arrests increased to 62 from only 27.
Before Canadian legalization, felony charges were sought for those caught at the border. Now, felony charges are sought for case-to-case basis, and may still incur additional fines. And for those caught with smaller amounts may still face arrests and fines starting at $500. In other words, trying to get a few grams back into the states as a souvenir can end up a serious felony charge. So don’t chance it folks.