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Canadians perplexed over Washington State pot laws

WASHINGTON STATE (NEWS1130) – New Washington State marijuana laws are causing a bit of confusion for Canadians at the border.

Although you can’t be prosecuted if you’re holding up to an ounce, there are still ramifications if you’re caught trying to cross the border with the drug.

City of Blaine prosecutor Rajeev Majumdar says it’s still against federal law to bring pot into the US.

Majumdar says that means you’ll be stopped, the drugs will be confiscated and you could face exclusion from the US.  You’ll also likely be fined and forced to get a waiver if you ever want to be able to cross again.

“For British Columbians, marijuana is more prominent in the culture than in Washington and they may often forget about it even being on them.  Now that it has been decriminalized in Washington, they seem to be thinking even less about having it on them while trying to cross the border,” Majumdar says.

US immigration lawyer Len Saunders says Canadians are getting busted on a weekly basis.

“You don’t want to even come to the border with a controlled substance such as marijuana and you don’t want to admit to ever using it because if you do, you’ll be deemed inadmissible to the US for the rest of your life and you’ll need a waiver.”

Saunders says a waiver can cost about $585 and take up to one year to obtain.