Blog and AnnouncementsStephanie - Destination Specialists, Toronto

Marijuana Laws and Crossing the Border

Marijuana Laws and Crossing the Border

Now that Marijuana is becoming legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018, what does that mean for Canadian travellers looking to head to the U.S. en-route to the South Pacific?  The short answer is not to bring marijuana with you (or back in through the U.S. when returning home). 

Here are some things to consider when travelling, or stopping through, the United States once cannabis becomes legal:

  1. What happens when you admit to having used pot (currently or in the past)?: As cannabis is illegal in America, guards at the border do have the right to question visitors about drug use, cannabis investments or employment in a marijuana-related industry such as a medical centre.  Answer the questions as honestly as you can, make sure you aren’t carrying any pot with you, and know that it is possible to still be banned from entering the United States if you admit to using the drug recreationally.  In rare instances, you may be blocked from entering the U.S. indefinitely (you’d then have to apply to get the permanent ban lifted in five years’ time and this could come at a costly waiver expense).
  2. Factor in extra time before you head on your onward flight: For Canadian travellers, this could mean you may need to expect to be spending a bit more time at the airport security booths answering marijuana-related and pot-use questions.  Your Destination Specialist, when finalizing your flight details, will ensure there is a sufficient amount of time between your flight from Canada to the U.S. and your onward flight from the U.S. to the South Pacific, should any border delays crop up.
  3. You can avoid answering questions related to cannabis: Lying to border guards can make you inadmissible.  And while border guards cannot force you to take a lie-detector test, or even a drug test for that matter, you can opt to decline to answer any pot-related questions.  This might get you turned away—but you won’t be banned permanently from entering the country.  It is easier, of course, to withdraw your application, rather than become banned; however, this in turn can make things difficult when you have an onward flight to board.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and may not apply to everyone.  For any personal questions about your own travel situation or needs, we recommend speaking with an American immigration legal attorney.  The Canadian government also has information on its website on cannabis and international travel.

Contact Downunder Travel today on how we can help you plan a seamless travel experience.

For further information on questions you may receive about marijuana past use, stocks, or industry-related employment, please visit the Canadian government’s travel warnings.

Written by: Stephanie (Destination Specialist)

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We absolutely loved our vacation, Jason!  Kudos to you with your recommendations, bookings, etc.  Everything came off without a hitch –  excursion pickups, airport shuttles were always on time.  We made out great driving on the wrong side of the road, and steering wheel on wrong side of car lol.  Air New Zealand was a great choice for our main flights, flight attendants came to our seats and thanked us personally for flying with Air New Zealand.  Again, we have to thank you so much Jason for helping us plan such a fantastic vacation – such a great time.  Hopefully we will vacation in another area you sell and we’ll need your services again.  We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we know.

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“A group of 9 travelers wanted to do a tour of Australia. 4 of us have been using Jason at Downunder Travel since 2005. We are a group with agricultural interests so we were hoping to see the diversity of Australia with as many ag components as possible. We met with Jason and he compiled an itinerary for us which gave us another trip of a lifetime. Jason’s attention to detail is truly amazing. Everything happened without a glitch which makes for a worry-free holiday. He also allowed for some free days if anything needed rearranged. We are already planning our next holiday with his company. Kudos to Jason!”

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“Jason planned our 3 week honeymoon to New Zealand and Cook Islands in October 2016. Jason was very knowledgeable and saved us so much time not trying to plan the trip details ourselves! We had an amazing time, with everything going smoothly. Overall, happy to recommend his service to anyone else planning to go “down under” 🙂 .”

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Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney!

The tours in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney were exceptional.  The guides were all very informative and helpful when explaining the sites, sometimes throwing in their own personal stories too.  In Melbourne we enjoyed: the hop on/off bus tour, the Central Historical tram, the Treasury and ANZAC Memorial is is very worthwhile, The Great Ocean Road with our small group tour was fabulous and the Penguin Parade with underground viewing is definitely a must-see!  The Cairns tours are remarkable; I enjoyed our small personalized group travel to Frankland Island (including guided walk), the Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Hartley’s offered a great variety and St. Monica’s Cathedral with its stained glass windows are a hidden gem!  In Sydney, we enjoyed so much; the Ferry boat was easy to manage, The Sydney Opera House was definitely a highlight, our Harbour Cruise was fantastic and our Blue Mountains tour with hike was lovely, definitely another must-experience.

In addition to the terrific tours, our flights and connections were seamless and the personal touches and the variety of experienced offered on this trip was one of a kind!  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future!

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“We spent 6.5 wonderful weeks exploring both Islands in New Zealand. Jason met with us to understand our interests and a sense of where we hoped to travel while there. Accommodations, day trips, half day tours etc all ran without a hitch. At one point we thought we might be seeking medical assistance at a drop in clinic. Not sure about the process with Medical Insurance, we sent him a note to which he quickly responded and we really appreciated. We are very thankful for the arrangements and bookings that helped make the time there truly great. Thanks Jason.”

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Thanks for organizing and planning our recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar. We had a wonderful, magical month on some Thai islands, and tremendously enjoyed Mandalay and particularly, Bagan. The hot air balloon ride, is not to be missed.  Our next trip to that part of the world , we will certainly use your expertise Andree.

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A special thanks for putting my phenomenal South Pacific Adventure of a lifetime together.  Much appreciation for all the hard work that you have endured to make my trip a most memorable adventure.  I have totally enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  I will definitely recommend this itinerary to anyone looking for a trip of a lifetime.

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Selection of excursions were suited to our interests

Kudos to Sawyer, our travel agent from Downunder Travel, who did a fantastic job of arranging our trip to Fiji. Her attention to detail was impeccable.

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