Whether or not you’ve planned an upcoming trip to the Great White North, the second largest country on earth, you should know about new laws regarding cannabis and alcohol.
- If you are caught bringing any amount of cannabis across the border, you can be arrested for drug trafficking, subject to deportation and prohibited from returning to the country for life.
- Driving while high carries the same offense as a traditional DUI. You’ll be subject to jail time and/or deported from Canada
- US Border Officials will continue to uphold Federal Law. If you’re Canadian traveling to the US and caught with cannabis, you could be barred from the US for life. Even admitting to working in the cannabis industry can prohibit Canadians from entry.
New drunk driving laws will also come as a shock to most. While it’s fairly common knowledge that US citizens who have an old DUI conviction may be barred from entering Canada - recent law changes may come as a surprise.
In the US, police need “Just Cause” (a legally sufficient reason) to administer a breathalyzer or conduct roadside field-sobriety. In Canada, a new law passed in 2018 allows police to test at-will. This means they no longer need to smell alcohol prior to administering these tests. Furthermore, driving while impaired is now considered a “serious offense” and now carries a maximum sentence of 10 years - up from 5 years previously. So, even if you’re a permanent resident who has a home, career and life in Canada - you could be barred from your home for life.