In a situation that speaks volumes as to how the U.S. is perceived in Canada, we have on one hand the U.S. threatening Canadian cannabis industry workers with not being able to enter its borders again. And on the other hand, we have Canadian residents and pot professionals that seem to be totally okay with that.
The B.C. area expects to have all pot positions necessary for a thriving industry filled and in place by the October 17 deadline, when cannabis becomes officially legal in Canada. The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch said it is on target with jobs and the B.C. Government Employees Union said members have not reported hesitation at filling said marijuana jobs.
The lack of B.C. workers’ concern is regardless of reports inferring that U.S. border agents might deny entrance to Canadians who are linked to the legal cannabis industry. The threats admittedly ring empty, as the U.S. itself has legalized or medicalized marijuana in a majority of its states. It feels like we’re on the cusp of de- or rescheduling cannabis and now we can’t play nice with those who went first.
B.C. Liquor Distribution branch spokesman Viviana Zanocco has said that anyone with concerns about the U.S. warnings should check Canadian government websites for updates on the situation, as it is yet unfolding.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Zanocco said, “The incidents reported in the media and their potential repercussions are of significant concern to us. Many of us are traveling to the U.S. with our families this summer, or enjoy shopping south of the border on a regular basis, and want to continue doing so while feeling safe and secure.”
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as the poem goes, and these restrictive rules aren’t just bad for relations between two neighboring countries, it impacts the U.S. economy and people’s desire to give it a boost with their tourism and shopping.
Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government Employees Union, called the idea of a travel ban “outrageous,” and said the union has yet to hear from any members who are concerned about it. “We understand that, really, this is a government to government issue.”
“Our role is going to be to work with the employer to make sure that anybody who does take a job in the new branch understands the potential outcomes…” continued Smith, “We just feel really, really strongly that people who work in a legal industry and, in fact, are working for a provincial government, should not be punished for doing so.”