Officials Seize 257 Pounds of Cannabis at U.S.-Canada Border

Over 250 pounds of cannabis was seized at the Peace Bridge that links Buffalo, New York to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada and crosses the U.S.-Canada border. The latest seizure of cannabis represents an uptick in incidents at the border areas near Buffalo. 

Seizures of controlled substances have soared in the Buffalo Field Office area, including 16 ports of entry in Western New York and beyond. According to the latest fiscal year’s data, ending on July 9, Buffalo Field Office personnel have made 786 cannabis-related seizures with a total of 3,003 pounds of cannabis. Compared to the same time period last year, that amounts to a 503% increase in seizures.

“Under strenuous conditions, our CBP officers remain steadfast in their duty to protect our communities and our nation against illicit and dangerous drugs when we encounter them,” Acting Port Director Sharon Swiatek said in a statement. “I highly commend and thank all of our hard working CBP officers for their unwavering vigilance and commitment in processing and protecting legitimate travelers and trade while simultaneously having an enforcement mindset, which resulted in the interdiction of this smuggling attempt.”

With recreational cannabis sales in Canada, border seizures on the U.S.-Canada border have increased. The number of cannabis confiscations at the U.S.-Canadian border increased over 60 percent year-over-years during the first six weeks of legal cannabis sales in Canada, according to The Canada Border Services Agency. Even former CULTURE cover Melissa Etheridge was arrested for possessing cannabis while at a customs checkpoint coming into North Dakota.

Crossing international borders with undeclared cannabis is illegal in any country, no matter if cannabis is legal or not. It is especially considered illegal when it involves amounts as large as over 250 pounds. But Canada’s legal system is fairly complicated when it comes to cannabis, given the fact that recreational cannabis is legal and some exceptions apply. Even the Canada Border Services Agency is reportedly not entirely clear on the matter.

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