Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in an armchair discussion at the Women in the World Summit in Toronto on Monday, September 10, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan)

Trudeau cautions Canadians about toking before travel

PM was asked what he would say to a U.S. border guard if he was asked if he had ever tried cannabis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sounding a cautionary note about the recreational use of marijuana, saying consuming it could have consequences for Canadians crossing the border into the United States.

Trudeau made the comment during an interview on CBC Manitoba hours before a visit to Winnipeg.

He was posed a question from a listener, who wanted to know what he would say to a U.S. border guard if he was asked if he had ever tried cannabis.

Trudeau replied that while he’s never told a fib while crossing the border, Canadians who have used marijuana will have to consider how they would respond.

The recreational use of marijuana in Canada officially becomes legal on Oct. 17, and the prime minister says his government is working with the American officials to ensure that travel to the U.S. does not become a problem as a result of the change.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office said in a statement earlier this year that medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. states, but it remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

“I’ve never lied to a border guard,” Trudeau told the CBC on Tuesday, while also noting that every country has the right to decide who crosses their borders.

“I certainly won’t work to assume or impress upon the U.S. who they have to let in or not. They have legalized marijuana in a number of their states and we’re trying to make sure that travel between our two countries is not disrupted.”

READ MORE: Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17

READ MORE: Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

But Trudeau also said it’s important to remember that marijuana is a controlled substance that’s being legalized to protect children and communities.

“It’s not a health food supplement. Choosing to partake of marijuana has consequences for individuals, for lives in different ways, and we’re not encouraging that.”

The legalization issue is expected to be on the agenda when Trudeau meets with Progressive Conservative Premier Brian Pallister during his visit to the Manitoba capital.

The meeting will come one day after the Pallister cabinet announced hefty fines for people who break Manitoba’s rules on cannabis consumption, including a $2,542 penalty for those who grow cannabis plants at home, supply it to an underage person or sell it without a licence.

The federal government has pushed to have homegrown pot allowed, but Manitoba and Quebec have fought the move and insisted the provinces have the right to restrict it.

“We truly believe that allowing people to grow a small quantity at home for personal consumption is a part of removing the black market and keeping our communities safe,” Trudeau said.

“The province has picked a different path and we’re going to see how we work that out.” (CBC, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cranbrook introduces draft cannabis bylaws

As legalization date approaches, there remains more questions than answers, say staff

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

UPDATED: Pratt to be acclaimed as Cranbrook mayor

Mayor will serve another term after running unopposed in the upcoming municipal election

Baseball bat assault sends one to hospital

Cranbrook police investigating after home invasion over the weekend

Watch: 55+ B.C. Games Closing Ceremony

The Kimberley/Cranbrook 55+ B.C. Games have officially come to an end.

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

Most Read