By Jim Bronskill – The Canadian Press – Nov 10, 2017
OTTAWA — Travellers to Canada will be routinely asked whether they are bringing marijuana into the country as Ottawa moves to legalize recreational pot use.
Signs will also be posted at major ports of entry to remind people that the unauthorized importation of pot remains illegal, said Peter Hill, associate vice-president of the Canada Border Services Agency.
In addition, the border agency plans a communications campaign through social media to ensure travellers “are aware of the new legislation and the requirements,” Hill told MPs on the House of Commons public safety committee.
The Liberals plan to allow adults to legally possess and use small amounts of cannabis by next July, saying it will help keep marijuana out of the hands of young people while denying profits to criminal organizations.
The government is devoting more than $110 million over five years to Public Safety, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure organized crime does not infiltrate the legalized system and to keep pot from crossing borders.
The question to travellers about marijuana will be similar to those that officers already ask about other controlled or prohibited goods, such as firearms, food and animal products, said Jayden Robertson, a border agency spokesman.
“The intent of the cannabis-related question is to encourage traveller compliance regarding importations of cannabis and provide travellers with the opportunity to declare whether or not they are in possession of cannabis,” Robertson said in an emailed response to questions.
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