US-Canada border seizures jump after legalisation

US-Canada border seizures jump after legalisation

Cannabis seizures at the US’ northern border have spiked after
Canada legalised recreational cannabis in October 2018.

Figures from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show American officers seized 2,214kg of weed from travellers entering the US between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019.

Just 1,259kg was seized over the same period year-on-year –
a 75% rise

CPB spokesman Kris Grogan told Canadian broadcaster CBC the increase as more of an “uptick” than a sharp rise.

He said: “Although the CBP recognises an increase in marijuana seizures and incidents, seizures and incidents normally vary from year to year.”

University of Ottawa drug policy expert Eugene Oscapella said some people mistakenly believe that it is legal to carry weed between Canada and US states where the drug is legal.

Illicit drug dealers and growers may seek opportunities over
the border as the black market dries up in Canada, he added

“There’s the possibility that if they lose the Canadian
market, that they’ll focus more effort on shipping it to the United
States, places where it is still illegal, or to other countries for that
matter,” Oscapella said.

“But I don’t know that we’ve been successful enough in
getting people to shift to the Canadian legal market, that it’s really dented
the profits of criminal organisations significantly here.”

In December Britain’s most senior police officer – Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick – said the UK should watch Canada’s legalisation of recreational cannabis keenly.

In an interview on BBC Radio London’s Drive Time,
she said legalisation was an “interesting experiment” that merits further
study.

When asked about Canada
by a listener, she said: “I think it is worth looking at what is happening in
Canada and parts of the United States, albeit we have to recognise culturally
that is very different.


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