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Officials remind travellers it's still illegal to bring marijuana across the border

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

U.S. border officials are reminding Michiganders it is still illegal to transport marijuana across the border, despite recreational cannabis being legal now in Canada.

Wednesday morning, Canada became the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace.  Uruguay was the first country to legalize recreational marijuana. 

Sales started just after midnight local time in Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province.

At least 111 legal pot shops are expected to open across the nation of 37 million people on Wednesday. Canadians also can order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers and have it delivered by mail.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
“We’re experiencing currently no negative impact at the border related to this and we don’t anticipate a negative impact," says Christopher Perry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "It could result in some additional inspections."

Christopher Perry is the director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection-Field Operations in Michigan.  He says nothing is changing at any of Michigan’s border crossings into Ontario.

“The questions we asked yesterday are basically the same questions we’re going to be asking today,” says Perry. “We generally are not asking routine questions about people’s marijuana use.”

Perry says additional inspections may be needed if there is some impact. 

Michigan may follow Canada’s lead next month and vote to allow recreational marijuana use and possession.

The outcome of that vote will have no effect on the policy at the border.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.