A Canadian woman is facing a lifetime ban from entering the United States after U.S. border protection agents discovered CBD (cannabidiol ) oil, which she says she consumes to help mitigate the pain and other side effects of her scoliosis.
While cannabis has been legalized for medical and/or recreational use in many states, border patrol is governed federally – and the drug remains categorized as a Schedule I substance by the DEA.
Thousands of Canadians have been denied entry to the U.S. simply for admitting they’ve smoked a joint once in their lives.
Others have been banned from entering the country for life for carrying cannabis products to the border.
She was fined $500 for failing to declare the oil, fingerprinted and subsequently denied entry to the U.S.
“I felt like a criminal and they seemed like, ‘Oh, here’s another pothead using this,'” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was treated with respect on it, considering it’s for a medical purpose.”
When asked about CBD oil, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it’s the responsibility of travelers to familiarize themselves with U.S. law before seeking entry.
“Marijuana and marijuana products are considered controlled substances under U.S. federal law. Travelers found in possession of controlled substances at U.S. ports of entry can face arrest, seizures, fines, penalties or denied entry,” the spokesperson said in a statement to CBC News. “Requirements for international travelers wishing to enter the United States are governed by and conducted in accordance with U.S. federal law, which supersedes state laws.”
“I felt like a criminal and they seemed like, ‘Oh, here’s another pothead using this,’” she told CBC News. “I didn’t feel like I was treated with respect on it, considering it’s for a medical purpose.”
The woman will have to apply for a waiver – which costs $600 – is required for those who have been denied admission, and she is flabbergasted that a seemingly benign and increasingly popular product could yield such a devastating result.