BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Canada is set to legalize recreational marijuana on October 17 and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials expect it to be business as usual.
"You're not going to see any increases in staffing, nothing extra like K-9 or anything like that,"according to Chief Officer Aaron Bowker. However, it is wise to remember that the smallest amount of cannabis in your vehicle will be picked up by the K9. You could be fined $500 and if you have 25 grams or more, state law enforcement agencies will be called and you could be arrested.
Marijuana in the United States is still federally illegal.
If you decide to use marijuana recreationally across the border and the smell is coming from your car when you are at the border, Bowker said "a smell is obviously going to alert an officer and probably going to get you a secondary exam because we want to make sure the actual marijuana isn't in the vehicle."
Once it's legal, Ontario residents will be able to smoke recreational cannabis wherever the smoking of tobacco is permitted.
The Mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario said he expects a fair number of Americans coming over.
"There's going to be people that already use it quite a bit that will be interested," Jim Diodati said. "There will be the people that experiment once in awhile that will be curious to try it, and those that have never used it because it's been illegal, but they're willing to give it a shot now that it's going to be legal."
Don't be surprised if border agents ask if you use recreational marijuana.
While recreational pot is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., as well as medical use in more than 30 states, marijuana remains classified as an illegal schedule 1 drug under federal law.
Medical marijuana will be seized at the border.
Each Canadian province has different rules for how marijuana is treated. In Ontario, it will be treated much like alcohol. Anyone 19 or older can legally consume marijuana while in Ontario.
"If you are driving over there and you do use it, either spend the night, don't drive impaired or have a designated driver just like you would if you're consuming alcohol," Bowker said.