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SOURCE Law Office of Stephen Graham
After the State of Washington has opened marijuana stores, Canadian visitors face potential legal issues with "pot tourism" and a federal border policy that does not recognize state law.
SPOKANE, Wash., July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Under voter initiative I-502, Washington has licensed its first marijuana stores providing the drug to recreational users. The stores open at 8 a.m. on July 8th, 2014. The stores will attract local marijuana enthusiasts, and also potential visitors from Canada, particularly from British Columbia and Alberta. In the Canadian provinces, marijuana (or cannabis) is only allowed for very limited medical purposes. A number of potential legal hurdles remain for visitors from British Columbia and Alberta. U.S. Federal law does not recognize the legitimacy of the stores, and it is unclear how receptive the border officials will be to Canadians visiting the U.S. with the intent to patronize the state-licensed facilities.
Practical issues will arise, such as high prices, long lines, and a lack of privacy for those patrons seeking to avoid media attention. The experiment of marijuana decriminalization will result in "test-cases" in the U.S. legal system, and Canadian citizens could often face legal jeopardy for their visits to the marijuana stores.
The complexities of the voter initiative are largely unknown to Canadian residents. The marijuana stores are not just in Seattle and Spokane, but are also in Bellingham, Washington, just 20 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Washington defense lawyer Steve Graham addresses some of these questions in his latest blog post.
The Law Office of Steve Graham is a law firm in Spokane, Washington that focuses on criminal defense legal work in Washington State.
The Law Office of Steve Graham is a criminal defense firm handling cases throughout the State of Washington. Mr. Graham is a former elected prosecuting attorney, and has been an attorney for 19 years.
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