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  • Writer's pictureTed Ohashi

Canadian woman faces lifetime ban for carrying CBD oil into U.S.

CBC News reports a Canadian woman was turned back at the U.S. because she was carrying cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

She faces a possible lifetime ban. The unidentified woman uses the oil to treat the side effects of scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. Again this problem arises because the U.S. federal governments classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug and the federal government is responsible for border security. The woman reports the border patrol officers asked if she had any “leafy greens” on her person. She interpreted that to mean marijuana that is smoked recreationally. The CBD oil she uses does not contain any THC, is not psychoactive and it is used medically. She thought the CBD oil was not a problem because she was travelling from British Columbia to Washington State and medical and recreational cannabis is legal in both jurisdictions. The potential consequences are inadmissibility (turned away at the border), monetary fines or a lifetime ban.

Unless and until the American federal government changes its official position on marijuana, travellers need to be cautious. Even a simple medication containing a cannabis extract that you may not even think about in daily medical use can result in a penalties as severe as a lifetime ban if you’re caught trying to carry it across the border. Even if you are given a lifetime ban and secure a waiver, you may incur hundreds of dollars in legal fees and it may have to be renewed every one, two or five years.

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