Open Jaw is pleased to welcome back the humorous musings of Dave Heron, proprietor of Pace Setter Travel & Tours in Okotoks, Alberta. He will intermittently entertain us with his wandering and whimsical thoughts on industry issues. This time finds Dave in high dudgeon over the impact of cannabis legalization on border crossings.
Notable events that took place on 17OCT:
1814: One and a half million litres of beer spilled out into the streets of London as vats rupture in a glorious event known as the London Beer Flood.
1931: On that day, Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion.
1979: Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2018: Our fearless leader Justin Thyme has chosen 17OCT, 2018 as the day Whacky Weed takes its legitimate place in shops across our great land.
Far be it for me to rain on the parade of thousands of exuberant supporters.
But somewhat dampening the celebratory mood – somewhat killing the buzz a cannabis practitioner might say – are fears of what lies ahead for Canadians attempting to enter the Excited States of America from 17OCT onwards.
Put aside the natural deterrent of a 34% exchange rate. Or an ongoing trade war that has normally placid Canuckleheads up in arms over the increased cost of military grade steel snow shovels.
The newest game show in town could possibly be BORDER JEOPARDY -- in which prizes such as "Embarrassment in Front of the Kids," "Humiliation for All to Witness," and the ultimate "Banishment for Life" all await eager contestants.
Here's a trailer for the game:
CBP Officer: "Quite a day for you folks now that you're cleared to take Mary Jane out for a ride?"
You: "Nope - I don't drive her anymore -- traded her in years ago"
CBP: "Anymore? But you did drive her back in the day? Yer outta here."
Or another scenario:
CBP: "I see from social media postings on your phone that you've done well on your investment lately."
You: "For sure eh! Got in on the ground floor of an office tower in Colorado that went up on time and under budget."
CBP: Well -- that's the tower that rents out space to Doobies R Us so I'm afraid we don't want YOUR KIND down here."
The only upside is that flights from Canada will likely have more than a few middle seats empty thus allowing the privileged few to once again stretch out in the steerage cabin.
Once turned away by the less-than-golden buzzer at the portals of the 49th parallel, the process of being forgiven and allowed to re-enter the land of opportunity can as lengthy as a billionaire divorce.
And by the time the waivers of excludability have cleared, your kids will likely be wrestling with the challenges of adulthood and no longer keen on heading to Anaheim to ride the Purple Tea Cup.
There's a lot of advice going around as to how to tip the scales of Welcome to The Excited States in your favour.
I think I'll opt out of adding to these pearls of wisdom.
A couple of things you should probably avoid during your next face to face with the folks at CBP would include:
When asked if you visit the U.S. regularly, "All the time dude!" is probably not your best response.
"Keep blazing and stay amazing" may be something you keep to yourself when saying adios to the guy in front of you who was just turned away.
Leave the tee shirt with the slogan "he who rolls it must spark it" at home.
And if backed into a corner and all else has failed -- tell them you think Donald Trump's the best thing that's ever happened.
They still won't let you in -- but after the 30-day psych evaluation they haul you away for ends, you'll show up on their computer as a nut rather than an admitted pothead. And being some kind of nut should pose no obstacle to entry into the States.