Posted on August 15, 2018
Two consequences that pot prohibitionists attribute to marijuana legalization—more underage consumption and more traffic fatalities—so far do not seem to be materializing in Colorado, which has allowed medical use since 2001 and recreational use since the end of 2012. A marijuana ticket in Canada could get you banned from the United States for the rest of your life – if U.S. border officials knew about it – U.S. immigration lawyers confirm.
U.S. law provides that an “alien” who is convicted of “a violation of any law … of a foreign country relating to a controlled substance” as defined in U.S. law is inadmissible to the country. Marijuana is on the list of controlled substances. And as legalization nears, the U.S. has been aggressive about banning Canadians with any involvement with marijuana.
Survey data released last week by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) indicate that marijuana use among high school students continues to decline, despite warnings that legalization would make pot more appealing to teenagers. In the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado survey, 37 percent of high school students reported that they had ever tried marijuana, down from 39 percent in 2011. The percentage who reported using marijuana in the previous month (a.k.a. "current" use) also fell, from 22 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2013.
Three executives of a Surrey, B.C. farm equipment company on their way to the U.S. to discuss the design of a bud trimming machine were grilled for six hours at the border in April and slapped with lifetime bans on entering the United States.
The CDPHE says those drops are not statistically significant. But they are part of a general downward trend in Colorado that has persisted despite the legalization of medical marijuana in 2001, the commercialization of medical marijuana in 2009 (when the industry took off after its legal status became more secure), and the legalization of recreational use (along with home cultivation and sharing among adults) at the end of 2012.