Some Canadian lawyers expect U.S. government to get with times, legalize marijuana nationwide

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On Dec. 6, anyone will be able to smoke recreational pot legally in Detroit after Michigan voters approved a measure to legalize recreational marijuana as part of the midterm elections earlier this month. However, transporting cannabis from Windsor, Ont., across the Canada-United States border remains off the table until marijuana is legalized at the federal level in the U.S.

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The prohibition against entering the U.S. with a past marijuana conviction is quite clear, however.

“I’ve had clients charged with simple possession turned away at the border,” said Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt. “But I’ve also had one with a record for manslaughter who’s made it through no problem.”

His advice to clients has been to not answer any cannabis-related question at the border. “The only legal thing you can do is to keep your mouth shut, turn around and come back to Canada and hope you won’t be asked that question the next time,” said Spratt, a partner at Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP, who noted that U.S. Customs likely keeps track of those who decline to reply to such queries.

Read Christoper Guly’s full article: The Lawyer’s Daily