Music Industry

Published on October 19th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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If you’re a Canadian musician who tours in the US, you might want to back off on the pro-pot stance for now

Even though weed is now officially legal in Canada, the US continues to take a dim view on marijuana use, especially at the border.

While pot is fine in nearly two dozen states, the US federal government still considers marijuana to be a category one drug on par with heroin, coke and meth. This attitude includes how things are controlled at the border.

For example, even though you might want to travel from, say, British Columbia into Washington, a state where weed use is okay. Between you and legal Pacific Northwest bud is that person at the border, who operates under federal rules. Regardless of the fact you’re travelling between two jurisdictions where weed is legal, the border dude/dudette can still ask if you’ve ever used pot. If you’re put into a position where you lie and you’re caught, that could mean a lifetime band from travelling to the US.

Canadian musicians who tour in America are being advised to avoid being publicly pro-pot: public statements in the media, endorsements of cannabis products, even posting social media pictures with a big blunt should be avoided. (Remember that a border agent can order you to open your phone or computer to check for subversive/illegal content; refused and you’re banned.)

The last thing any Canadian musician wants is to be denied the ability to make a living in American dollars. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how hardass US border agents get when it comes to asking about weed use, especially when it comes to entertainers.

The whole situation is silly, of course. But that’s what happens when a progressive country like Canada has laws that run counter to what’s happening in ‘Merica.

More on this situation at Forbes. Meanwhile, if you do make it across the border, this handy chart will help you connect with the locals.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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One Response to If you’re a Canadian musician who tours in the US, you might want to back off on the pro-pot stance for now

  1. Cocaine and meth are actually schedule II, so the US government finds them more applicable for medical use, less subject to abuse than marijuana is. Its upside down world here!

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