The legalization of marijuana in Canada will not change Canada’s border rules and it is still illegal to bring marijuana products into or out of the country. You could face serious criminal charges if you try to bring cannabis goods into Canada.
This also applies if you are travelling from or to another country that has legalized or decriminalized marijuana.
Just because marijuana is legal in Canada it does not mean that the same laws apply when travelling abroad. When you visit another country you are still subject to the laws of that country. Make sure you do your research and find out what the rules are for that country before you visit.
Your Canadian citizenship does not give you immunity or preferential treatment in other countries. If you have previously used drugs, including marijuana after it becomes legal in Canada, you may still be denied entry to a country.
Most countries, including the United States, have a zero-tolerance policy with respect to illegal drugs, including possession and use. Very severe penalties are imposed for the possession of even a small quantity.
Many teenagers try marijuana and some use it regularly. Teenage marijuana use is at its highest level in 30 years, and today’s teens are more likely to use marijuana than tobacco. Many states allow recreational use of marijuana in adults ages 21 and over. Recreational marijuana use by children and teenagers is not legal in anywhere in the United States. Today’s marijuana plants are grown differently than in the past and can contain two to three times more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that makes people high. The ingredient of the marijuana plant thought to have most medical benefits, cannabidiol (CBD), has not increased and remains at about 1%.
There are many ways people can use marijuana. This can make it harder for parents to watch for use in their child. These include:
- Smoking the dried plant (buds and flowers) in a rolled cigarette (joint), pipe, or bong
- Smoking liquid or wax marijuana in an electronic cigarette, also known as vaping
- Eating “edibles” which are baked goods and candies containing marijuana products
- Drinking beverages containing marijuana products
- Using oils and tinctures that can be applied to the skin
Other names used to describe marijuana include weed, pot, spliffs, or the name of the strain of the plant. There are also synthetic (man-made) marijuana-like drugs such as “K2” and “Spice.” These drugs are different from marijuana and are more dangerous. Additionally, the products being sold in dispensaries currently are not subject to Food and Drug Administration standards and are not purely isolated cannabinoids; they are therefore not reliable in their potency/concentration of CBD or THC, or the inclusion of other ingredients.