Throw another stone into the choppy waters that rule the rules when cannabis raises its oily head at the Canada-U.S. border.
You may remember that two weeks ago a Canadian university student was barred for life from entering the United States after cannabidiol (CBD) oil was found in her backpack at a Washington State-British Columbia crossing.
The student, who suffers from scoliosis and does not want her name published, thought it was OK to bring the oil to the U.S. since CBD, used to ease painful medical conditions, is legal in both British Columbia and Washington.
The 21-year-old University of Guelph student was fined $500 for not declaring the oil and told to take a hike, that her trip south was now at an end.
And, if she ever hoped to go to the States again, she was told, she would have to buy a special waiver for $585 that covers people denied admission following deportation or removal.
End of story, right?
In a head-scratching decision that has left a lot of people puzzled, U.S. officials did a 180.
The student’s lawyer, Len Saunders, who had been working with her on the waiver, said his client had been unexpectedly contacted by a U.S. supervisor at the Port Roberts, Wash., point of entry.
Her case, the supervisor informed her, had been reversed; she would no longer be required to apply for the waiver.
“My reaction obviously was shock,” Saunders, who is based in Blaine, Wash., told the CBC’s Michelle Ghoussoub.
“I was shocked that it was such a 180-degree turn from basically being barred for life to being told that they had on their own reviewed the case and had basically reversed the decision.”
So far, there has been no explanation.
And it remains to be seen what happens now.
In the past, 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.
Not this time.
With files from CBC, CP, CTV