My husband was "banned for life" for entry into Canada for having marijuana on him back in the 90's. We had completely forgotten about this when we traveled to Toronto some years back, but were reminded at the border where he had to sign some paper that indicated he could be jailed if he returned to Canada. We have a family wedding in the near future that will take place in Canada. Now that we have legalized Marijuana in Michigan as well as Ontario, how can we get the ban lifted?

  • 53
    When you traveled to Toronto "some years back", were you admitted to Canada? Dec 12, 2018 at 16:39
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    Did this incident occur while entering Canada or was it simple possession within Canada?
    – JimmyJames
    Dec 13, 2018 at 19:25
  • 2
    Welcome new user, an intriguing question!
    – Fattie
    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:51
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    Just a reminder that even though it's legal on one side of the border, and legal on the other side of the border, does not mean it's legal to take it across, and they take it very seriously still.
    – corsiKa
    Dec 15, 2018 at 19:07
  • Note that just because Canada legalized selling and consuming Marijuana does not mean that all Marijuana-related crimes were voided. There are still lots of laws which apply to it. Importing it without a proper license is still illegal.
    – Philipp
    Dec 17, 2018 at 9:21

2 Answers 2


Get an immigration attorney, a competent one. This is not the kind of question for which you solicit answers from random guys on the internet. It is not a trivial matter.

Typically the fact that the law has changed does not mean immigration violations of that law in the past are forgiven because the issue is it implies you do not have a problem breaking the law, so you’re viewed as more inclined to break other laws.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Dec 14, 2018 at 19:50
  • Perhaps replace "you do not have a problem breaking the law" with something else, such as "you do not have any compunctions about breaking the law"? "don't have a problem with" can have opposite meanings ("there is no problem, because they don't do it", versus "there is no problem, because doing it doesn't bother them"). For instance, "I have a drinking problem" generally means "I drink a lot", while "I have a problem with people who smoke" generally means "I avoid people who smoke". Dec 21, 2018 at 21:20

You might want to start by reading about Individual Rehabilitation (permanent) and Temporary Resident Permits, which can be used to enter Canada after a conviction.

If the crime committed would have a maximum penalty over 10 years in Canada, you'll probably have to go the route of Temporary Resident Permit.


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