The number of cannabis confiscations at the Canadian border increased more than 60 per cent year-over-year in the first six weeks after pot legalization, new statistics show.
The Canada Border Services Agency is linking the rise to the fact it began asking people last fall whether they were bringing cannabis into the country.
The border agency says there were 329 instances of cannabis either being seized by – or forfeited to – Canadian border officers from Oct. 17 to Nov. 30 of last year.
That compares to 204 such confiscations in the same period of 2017.
These numbers include both undeclared cannabis seized by the border agency and declared cannabis forfeited to officers. But the agency could not break the figures down further to indicate how many instances of each type of confiscation occurred.
As of last Oct. 17, adults in Canada can possess and share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis.
However, taking pot across Canada’s international borders remains illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties.
As a result, bringing cannabis into Canada is against the law even when travelling from places that have loosened their laws on marijuana use, and despite the fact recreational consumption is now permitted in Canada.
In the weeks before legalization, the border agency advised the public that officers would be asking visitors and returning Canadians whether they have any cannabis with them. They hoped the question would reduce the risk of unintentional violations of the law.
If you are carrying pot when you enter Canada, it must be declared to the border agency. Otherwise, you may face arrest and prosecution, the agency says.