What follows is a little story of how my car got caught drug trafficking…
My buddy needed some help with a few details for a trip he was organizing for 40 snowboarders from his school; I was more than happy to help and head up to Whistler for a weekend of partying with 20 year olds and be the old guy.
Originally my buddy was going to drive but recently his car had been in an accident and so we took my Cruiser (which while ‘mine’ is not registered in my name but in the name of a co-worker) and picked up two randoms from the group and headed to Whistler.
As part of this trip a few organizing emails went out with some warnings:
However, it is very important that all of us keep in mind that there will be a border crossing–making sure we have valid paperwork for entry into Canada and re-entry to the states and are abiding by any rules and regulations regarding transport of substances across the border will help ensure a quick and painless trip for everyone. Please guys, we want you to have fun, but no illicit substances at the border crossing, capice?
Be a bit careful with the transportation of meat or produce across the border.
And finally everyone signed a waiver saying NO DRUGS.
Waiting in line at the border I even joked about there being no need to smuggle drugs into BC because it’s BC, the home of “BC hydro.”
When we got to the front of the border line they asked the usual questions but then started to drill in on convictions. Any convictions? No. Any pending charges or arrests? Turns out that yes, someone in our car had a pending charge in Washington for marijuana possession. Well sure enough we get flagged as needed additional screening.
After much waiting they re-run our passports, spend a lot of time researching us and then head off to the car to begin the search. No more than five minutes later are they back and ask who owns the gray backpack. One of our riders (the one with the prior arrest) says its his and off he goes for additional screening. Then the next person gets additional screening and then its my turn. They ask if I know what’s going on and I don’t and they inform me that one of our riders is transporting some weed. I tell them I don’t even know the guy. Off they go and re-search the car this time they take it apart. Then they summon me and I put it back together. And then we wait. And wait. After some two odd hours we’re told how it’s going to go down. The weed was being confiscated, no one was being charged but the weed carrier and the car would have a record with the border guards (remember, it’s not my car.) Also the three Americans were denied entry to Canada and the vehicle was denied entry. As a Canadian I could proceed on foot. Sick of being with Mr.Idiot Drug Smuggler I opted to proceed on foot and had another friend pick me up and the Americans headed back to America after a total of at least three and half hours at the border. Now apparently the Americans were expecting them as they said without prompting “back so soon?” And apparently they then told them “Why would you bring weed to Canada?! That’s like bringing sand to the beach!” (we’re going to Whistler after all!) They were then search again and waited in line again to get back into Canada.
And sure enough once we all finally get to Whistler, some eleven hours after leaving Seattle, one of the other group members not riding with us has already purchased weed for less than the cost of Seattle weed.
Now while waiting at the border I was pretty relaxed but a little bummed I had taken an afternoon off work to sit at the border instead of drinking at the Longhorn. It didn’t even cross my mind that I might get into trouble or have a problem but looking back had we been going the other way we likely would have all been arrested and put in jail!