Immigration lawyer: Pot admissions at border a “kiss of death”

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Immigration lawyer: Pot admissions at border a "kiss of death"

Marijuana plants being grown indoors.

An immigration lawyer from Blaine, Washington is expecting business to boom, as naive British Columbians admit at the border they’re heading south to buy legal marijuana.

Len Saunders says US border officials enforce federal regulations, so any admission of using, possessing or purchasing pot could get you labeled “inadmissible” for life.

“It’s literally the kiss of death, if you admit you’re coming down to smoke marijuana, or that you smoke marijuana, or that you’re coming down to purchase it, they can find you inadmissible.”

Saunders says he’s already representing clients who got into legal trouble for making admissions about pot since it was legalized in Washington State nearly two years ago.

“I’m expecting my business to boom, I’m the only immigration lawyer in Blaine, this is the third busiest port of entry, Washington State is the only border state that sells marijuana, I’m assuming lots of Canadians are going to come down to wanting to purchase marijuana, and if they mention that at the border, it’s going to create serious problems.”

That aside, the operator of a Bellingham recreational pot shop says he’s been fielding dozens of calls from curious Canadians.

“We have gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from Canadian customers, calling this weekend, checking to see if we are open, what we are going to carry, and there is definitely some excitement around being able to purchase recreational marijuana.”

Aaron Nelson with 2020 solutions says cross-border customers should remember that you must be over the age of 21 to purchase pot, and you could be fined for smoking marijuana in public.


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    • It’s because of people like you that this issue is soooo misunderstood!! Your comments just go to show your ignorance on what is probalby the best medicine around, that won’t kill you with the side effects pills will…just listen to “trailers” of meds advertised on TV, and you’ll see they have a better chance of killing you before the condition does! I don’t talk about your “meds”, so don’t talk about mine with ignorance. People who should be charged with “criminal activity” should be big Pharma, and the dangerous drugs they put on the market overnite. Please inform yourself before going on a rant which only goes to show your ignorance!

      • Greg, you`ve been drinking the kool aid. If pot was really as effective as is currently being promoted, ” Big Pharma” would have been on it years ago. And don`t forget, Big Pharma IS in bed with the government regulators ( according to the pro pot proponents ) so getting approval would not have been a problem.

      • You seem to think this is simply about an alternative to “big pharma”. I say that it’s all about getting high. Anyone needing pot for pain management could get it legally anytime. Your argument bent on distracting the issue away from selling to recreational or serious pot heads is nothing more than a dellusion.

  1. The only reason marijuana is being legalized is because of lies told by pot proponents: ie that pot is harmless. There is a lot of medical evidence that marijuana is harmful but that is somehow ignored by the liberal media. There is a debate about marijuana but it is lopsided in favour of legalization. Why don’t we hear from the opponents of pot to get a more balance point of view?

      • I don’t get how booze has anything to do with this debate. The only comparison is that (legal or not) neither are very healthy choices. Same with tobacco, prescription drug use, crack, or anything else used as a pick-me-up, crutch or escape from reality. I see no good side coming from pot legalization but, as with anything that becomes more acceptable, it’s only a matter of time until it goes ahead. Our society won’t be better for it.

  2. Legal pot??? this is just nonsense.

    the last time a state wanted to succeed from the union it caused a civil war.

    People!!!! pot is not legal anywhere in he US. Regardless of what he six O’Clock news says.
    It really just shows how ignorant of reality these news types are.

    In Colorado and Washington the only difference is the state police will not help any federal police put you in federal prison.
    the FBI or any other federal law enforcement, can put you in prison for a long time for being in possession of cannabis.

    these folks tha have been denied US access for life, should sue the news channels for erroneous information

    • Michael is right, the US Feds and State Legislatures have concurrent jurisdiction and have federal laws dealing with possession of pot. Although States have legalized it, people can still be federally charged in the Washington State with possession. By agreement with the feds the Washington State authorities have agreed to suspend enforcement. Canadians should be very careful regarding the use of pot in Washington State.

    • you mean the drugs YOU consider dangerous…How many people out there are driving when using Big Pharma products, such as valium, etc….whose side effects are worse than anything pot will ever do for you.

      • Most hard drug abusers Greg will admit they started down that road with MJ . . . not to say ALL the folks will wind up that way, of course they don’t.
        But only the naive would think sucking substance laden smoke into your lungs on a regular basis was good for your long term health.

          • @Dale, no sorry to disappoint. I don’t drink or nor have I ever engaged in drug use – of any kind – imagine that. I do however, have an open mind – can I open yours?

          • If you had an “open mind” Lor . . . you would not be teaching the kids today the nonsense you do . . .
            You would make sure they could read, write and do math . . . which many today that graduate hi-school cannot.
            While we have not achieved the levels of incompetence that are so common in the US today . . . we are not that far behind . . . social engineering and propaganda have replaced the Three Rs . . . and where are the educators? Just following orders like the soldiers of change they are . . .

          • @Dale, why are you fixated in your mistaken belief the I am a teacher. Did it ever occur to you that there a members of the public who support public education.

            I actually don’t disagree that the 3rs are the cornerstone of education, but also hold that critical thinking is a cornerstone of democracy. So we need to have horizons beyond what you propose.

  3. Having been around since the emergence of the “drug culture” in the 1960′s, I have seen nothing but harm that has come as a result of the widespread use of drugs, including marijuana. Anyone who works in helping people in recovering from substance abuse problems can confirm the harm that is done. But,they don’t call it dope for nothing. But, driving while under the influence of marijuana represents being impaired, and people should not be encouraged to consume the pot before driving home (which was the advice of the NW reporter in Bellingham this morning).

    • Still remember driving down 4th Ave in 1967 to check out the loser hippies . . . while still in my early 20s, I had a good job and a new Mustang GT.

      The late 60s was the start of the far-left inspired youth rebellion. The anti war movement, which decades later we found out was funded by the Soviets.
      This mentality has today taken over many of our institutions including the press, education and much of the political spectrum. The fact that this has been a dismal failure in Europe and in the USA only inspires these types to work harder toward the perfect socialist state . . . something that has never existed on the planet but still part of the marxist dream.
      Either smell the coffee folks . . . or our future is right before our eyes in Greece, Spain and soon maybe the USA !

    • good for you John for telling it like it is. Nothing like “been there done that ” comments from someone old enough to have the scars to show for it.
      I’ve heard similar comments from friends who work with recovering addicts on the DTES. Your comments won’t be appreciated by the pot heads … but the truth neds to be heard

      • John’s story serves as a legitimate example of excesses by many. However, it is also true that every alcoholic today started by drinking alcohol. Not everyone ends up on skid row. My point is that some people, and some circumstances, predisposes people to excesses which lead to addiction. Why do we accept alcohol, yet we criminalize marijuana?

    • ChrisM, many people share your perspective and they are not wrong. Let me say this, … the harmful effect of alcohol is evident in our criminal justice system, matrimonial discord, bankruptcy, and child abuse. Yet we tolerate it. Why? – both are a social drug. The arguments for and against flow both directions. Older generations above of alcohol in society and oppose pot – there is a sense of hypocrisy. I’m merely point out the double standard.

  4. Right on Greg , Big Pharma is loseing Millions a day to Med Pot , So They lobby the government to put more controles on the use of it .
    Forget Washington , go see your doctor , get a perscrition , Go the Healing tree at 24 West Broadway in Vancouver , They have a Vaper loung , It’s leagal for you , why run the border , leave that for the new Canadians . And the fools .

  5. LorAx: The reasons many oppose the legalization of marijuana are as follows:

    -the marijuana grown now is much more potent that was the case back in the hippie days-which means that the potential for harm is greater.
    -the logic of legalizing one harmful substance on the basis that we have already legalized another is difficult for me to follow.

    A society full of drunk and stoned people will not be a healthy place to be. I was once a strong advocate of liberalizing drinking laws, but as I am much older and with much more experience, I am no longer convinced.

    I don’t endorse throwing people into jail for pot possession. That makes no sense. But, if we are going to legalize pot on the grounds that booze is legal, and so many people are doing it, then why not just allow people to have whatever drug they want.

    • John, I agree with your points. One cannot argue that one drug should be legalized on the basis that we already have a worse drug which is legal. Today there are many young people who use MJ for social enjoyment, – all aspects of music, food, and intimacy are enhanced. My generation used used alcohol and today’s uses MJ.

      The empirical evidence supports that MJ can be a gateway drug, but it also points out that it is not a gateway drug in every instance, just like everyone who drinks does not automatically become an alcoholic.

      My posts here are intended to underscore the double standard which exists when we consider pot.

  6. No Dale , When I was a teenager I didn’t use any thing, I was with the Jesus people for 5 years , you know peace and love , and one day I woke up , I got realy sick a couple years ago , I almost died with a blood clot . And the meds realy made me sick , the side efects , caused cronic bronkitis , and depreshion , and on staroides , like haveing aids , Where your joints and musels
    ake , could barly walk , and I had a jerk for a land lord , finly told him to go to hell and I moved .
    As far as I’m conserned , it has a purpus , but one has to stop useing it now and than , or it stops working all to geather .