KPLU has a story up that isn't news so much as a reminder—US drug policy is still insane, even if we've been pushing towards legalization in Washington state:
More and more Canadians are learning the hard way that admitting to U.S. border agents that you smoked pot can bar you from entering the country forever.
Immigration lawyers say some Canadians are under the mistaken impression that legalization of marijuana in Washington state has resulted in leniency by U.S. border agents here, but it hasn't.
As everyone knows, tough and sensible drug policies like these have been very effective at curbing recreational drug use in the US.
Just kidding. The US has led the world in illegal drug use for years. If we really went by the numbers, Canada should be banning US citizens to prevent spreading our "moral turpitude."
So if you're Canadian who has ever used drugs and gets asked about it at the border, what do you do? Lie to a border patrol agent? Or risk being barred from the country?
Saunders says he doesn’t condone lying, but he does tell Canadians they can refrain from answering questions at the border.
“Just withdraw your application for entry, go back to Canada and maybe try a different day and maybe you’ll get a more hospitable officer.”
He says the inconvenience of that is far less than being permanently barred. People who've been denied entry, he says, are forever in the database and have to go through the expense and time of seeking a special waiver every time they want to cross the border.
Well, that's ludicrously inconvenient and ineffective, just like much of the rest of US drug policy. Now please enjoy this old story from the Colbert Report (also linked in the KPLU story) about a Canadian psychotherapist who was barred from the US because he wrote a paper decades ago about using LSD: