Marijuana seizures at the U.S. border jumped in the year after Canada legalized recreational cannabis.
Figures provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show American officers seized 2,214 kg of marijuana from travellers entering the U.S. between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019, up from just 1,259 kg over the same period a year earlier.
That’s an increase in volume of about 75 per cent.
The upswing was less significant in terms of the number of individual seizures recorded: 3,917 in the year after legalization, compared to 3,139 incidents the year before.
CPB spokesman Kris Grogan said he sees the increase as more of an “uptick” than a drastic spike.
“Although the CBP recognizes an increase in marijuana seizures and incidents, seizures and incidents normally vary from year to year,” he said, noting that the number of U.S. enforcement actions for marijuana seizures actually declined modestly after Canada’s marijuana law reforms.
University of Ottawa drug policy expert Eugene Oscapella said that in regions where both a Canadian province and its neighbouring American state have legalized recreational marijuana (British Columbia and Washington, for example, or Ontario and Michigan), people may mistakenly believe they’re permitted to carry cannabis across the border, despite warning signs erected at border points and airports. [Read more at CBC]