There are plenty of horror stories about mistreatment at international borders. This isn't one of them.
You may have heard about Jessica Goldstein's plight when trying to cross the border into the United States recently.
The Richmond native was denied entry into the state of Washington on Aug. 31, for admitting marijuana use.
"I think it makes no sense," said the 30-year-old university student, who claims she was interrogated for several hours for simply telling the truth.
She admitted to the U.S. customs agent that she had indeed smoked marijuana recently -just days before the incident, according to her story.
But wait, it gets better. "She asked how long I'd smoked pot for. I said about 10 years," Goldstein told the Vancouver Sun. "Then she asked how many times I'd smoked pot in my life. I didn't know the exact number; probably around 500 times."
She also admitted to using ecstasy and mushrooms.
"It doesn't make any sense to me why they'd turn me away," she said.
What? Really? It makes no sense to you? Let me be blunt, Ms. Goldstein. They turned you away because you are what we used to refer to in my school days as a pothead, and they do not want potheads from Canada coming into the United States.
Goldstein went on to say she found the treatment especially upsetting, considering recreational marijuana use is legal in the state of Washington.
Actually, that's all the more reason for U.S. customs agents to be wary of Canadian potheads coming into Washington.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that someone who smokes pot could be interested in entering Washington specifically to purchase pot.
And, of course, with that comes the possibility that said person is interested in purchasing large quantities of marijuana, to bring back into Canada.
Now, I'm not implying that Goldstein had that in mind, nor am I implying that she is in any way involved in the drug trade. I highly doubt she is, or she wouldn't be drawing attention to herself with this entire "woe is me" tale she tells.
All I am saying is that when you go to the U.S. border and tell an agent that you have been smoking pot every week for the past 10 years, and that you have also done ecstasy and mushrooms, the red flags will start waving.
In fact, I'd hazard a guess that if it ever got back to that agent's superiors that he or she (in this case, she) interviewed a Canadian who admitted to regular (yes, every week for 10 years is regular) pot use, and still allowed that person into the country, that agent would be out of a job.
The only possible mistreatment of Goldstein in this case is that she was detained for three hours. It should have taken only a minute to determine she was an "undesirable."
. Terry Farrell is the editor of the Abbotsford/Mission Times.
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