Come Monday, recreational use of marijuana will be legal in California. Unless, of course, you’re going through one of the eight
Border Patrol checkpoints in the Golden State.
The U.S. government classiÚes marijuana as a controlled substance, so because federal laws override state regulations, carrying any amount of weed
through a Border Patrol checkpoint is still illegal whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not.
The number of migrants detained at the southwestern border this year hit its lowest mark on record,which
means Border Patrol agents have more free time on their hands to start sniÜng out cars for marijuana.
“Prior to Jan. 1, it’s going to be the same after Jan. 1, because nothing changed on our end,” Ryan Yamasaki, an assistant chief of the Border Patrol’s San
Diego sector, told the Associated Press. “If you’re a federal law enforcement agency, you uphold federal laws.”
In addition to the border points of entry, California has an additional eight inland Border Patrol checkpoints within the government’s “100-mile border
California’s new voter-approved law allows anyone 21 and over to carry up to an ounce of marijuana. But if you’re a U.S. citizen driving through a
checkpoint with an ounce of weed and a K-9 (or agent) happens to sniÙ your car, you’re in trouble.
If you’re a non-citizen, you have even more to worry about. Between 2007 and 2012, 34,337 people whose most serious conviction was marijuana
possession were deported, according to a Human Rights Watch report.
The AP report noted the K9s were able to sniÙ out “a marijuana
stash about the size of a thumbprint inside” a pickup truck. In a separate case, dogs didn’t Únd anything inside an apologetic driver’s car, but she said
“she smoked marijuana a week earlier, implying the odor lingered.”
Between 2013 and 2016, about 40% of seizures at Border Patrol checkpoints involved one ounce or less of marijuana from U.S. citizens, according to a
Government Accountability OÜce report. Seizures at other locations were more “often higher quantities
of marijuana seized from aliens,” the report found.
President Trump has ordered the Border Patrol to hire an additional 5,000 agents
but the agency has faced trouble Úlling the positions. The San Diego Tribune
reported Border Patrol oÜcials blamed “legalization of
marijuana and a growing distrust of law enforcement” for the hiring woes.

Leave a Reply