As the world looks on to Canada who will be somewhat legalizing Cannabis tomorrow, there have been several actions taken by the same government that are cause for alarm.
The first, and most important takeaway is a reminder that cannabis is illegal federally in the United States, even though some individual states have legalized it. There are already documented cases of Canadians being asked at the border, "Have you ever tried cannabis?" as well as border agents rejecting Canadians due to their admitting of cannabis usage, even once, including evidence on social media.
I'm nervous that as of October 17th there will be a wave of Canadians gloating about the cannabis change on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and that could affect their travel to the United States, for the rest of their lives. Think twice before documenting your participation and/or usage of cannabis on any piece of technology.
So far I have covered the risk of disclosing usage to the the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, as well as posting it on social media, but the biggest concern to me is what the Canadian government is doing to protect you -- or are they about to do the opposite?
Why would I be concerned? During the recent NAFTA negotiations over the last few weeks, the Justin Trudeau Liberals have endorsed a U.S. War-on-drugs "Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem" which was tabled at the United Nations. How the Canadian government will handle this new commitment to our neighbours is left to be seen.
It's also worth remembering that Liberal national defence critic at the time, Joyce Murray, endorsed the data-sharing behemoth and hugely unpopular omnibus Bill C-51, and had the entire Liberal party unanimously endorse it, when their role was to oppose it. The liberals promised to fix it under their last election campaign, but it's sadly still on the books to this day and due to the secrecy, we don't know how bad the data sharing and allowing our spies to act against us really is. It's also worth the reminder that she, as an MP believes "Freedoms do not exist when there are attacks...", but I digress...
So in terms of Justin Trudeau and Liberal support for the U.S. War on drugs, where does that leave Canadians? They have not disclosed the countless data sharing agreements with our neighbours, that list would be useful. Another relevant example worth review is our extradition process; Canada has an extradition treaty with the U.S, and has already extradited a Canadian for violating US drug laws even though though they committed no crimes on Canadian soil. If the American government thinks you might be guilty of participating in cannabis in any way against their own laws on their soil -- is the Canadian government ready to send you to an American prison at the request of the American government? They've done it before.
It's also unknown what the international repercussions will be for violating 3 UN drug conventions.
What does this mean for Canadians? While profiting from the sale of cannabis, is the Canadian government now sharing the personal participation of cannabis with the U.S. authorities, putting the livelihoods of all Canadians at risk?
This means you should not trust any system that is collecting your personal information, including credit card, for the purchase of cannabis once it becomes "legal", as that information is likely shared with the U.S. in some capacity or another. For example, is the credit card company itself American? (Visa, Mastercard etc). Is the Shopify instance using any third party american privacy trackers? It's a good time to check if you have any privacy protection from your browser.
We have an election next year, and every four years after that -- what happens if a future government reverses this cannabis legalization decision, and demands a list of every purchaser of cannabis from the distributors and retailers?
I'm no judge of your participation in the cannabis industry, but this so called legalization sure seems to be putting a lot more Canadians at risk.