U.S. Border Patrol Warns ‘Amnesty’ for Pot Convictions Doesn’t Guarantee Entry

(John Paul Tasker – CBC News)

A senior U.S. border patrol official is warning travellers that cannabis remains an illegal narcotic in the U.S. despite Canada’s legalization — and even if you’ve been granted amnesty for a previous pot-related criminal conviction, you could still be denied entry to the United States.

The statement comes as Ottawa announced a plan to allow people to apply for a pardon for minor pot-related convictions. A person with a criminal history typically seeks a pardon to make it easier to rent an apartment, apply for a mortgage, get a job or volunteer, or cross the Canada-U.S. border.

Federal Liberal cabinet unveiled details of the pardon plan on Wednesday after cannabis for recreational purposes became officially legal in Canada.

“Really, we don’t recognize the Canadian amnesty. If you’ve been the subject of a violation of U.S. laws, that will still make you inadmissible to our country,” Todd Owen, the assistant commissioner of field operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said in a teleconference with reporters. Click here to read more.