Recreational pot to be legal in Canada next week

- In just less than 3 months, you can cross the border into Canada and buy Marijuana for recreational use.

Depending on what happens with our election at home in November, we might be able to do the very same thing. So what can we learn from our neighbors to the north?

For decades - 19 year olds from Michigan have spent their Saturday nights outsmarting the drinking age in Windsor. The city's Mayor Drew Dilkens is preparing for a new wave - this time, cannabis tourists.

"I think it's probably a very enlightened move to have can legalized I think we were making criminals out of very law abiding citizens," he said.

Canadians voted to make recreational cannabis legal in bud and oil form. It goes on sale in October. Depending on what Michigan voters decide, it could be legal here too.

"I would expect to see some cannabis tourism but I depends what happens with the November election," Dilkens said.

And that would be a game changer for us as well. One glaring difference between these border towns - in Canada, marijuana production is overseen by a federal agency. In the U.S., there is no oversight to that degree because it's not legal on the federal level.

"It is sort of a bit of the wild west until the federal government comes in some regulations and some standardizations with it," said Dr. Christopher Blue, MD.

 Dr. Blue is a U.S.-trained medical doctor. He even did his residency at Beaumont Hospital, but he practices in Canada now. When you're talking medical marijuana in Ontario, we learned Dr. Blue is your guy.

"Never did I think I would be prescribing this stuff and patients are getting a fantastic result and they are coming back saying thank you," Blue said.

He says the country is leaps and bounds over the U.S. in mass producing cannabis.

"If you were to go into one of the licensed producers that grows this it's like going into an operating room you glove up you gown up you don't touch anything. It's very much a medical environment," Blue said.

Those same standards will apply to recreational marijuana.

"From a cultivation and standardization stand point and production on a large scale in my opinion the Canadians are doing a better job," he said.

But admittedly this process hasn't been all rainbows and sunshine for Canadians.

“In Canada, in the U.S. and North America, we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic so as we introduce another drug into that mix that we don't invite some of the social issues that we have seen in places like Windsor for instance," Dilkens said.

Another issue Mayor Dilkens sees is making sure police are trained to do field sobriety testing for cannabis and purchasing those swab kits to do so. The province of Ontario is getting $40 million the first year of legalization from federal taxes but Dilkens doesn't think that's enough.

“Someone is going to be making a lot of money off of it but there is no sign that at the municipal level we are going to be any better off as a result of the sale of cannabis," he said.

Dilkens says Canadians and Americans need to be mindful crossing the border come October.

A statement to FOX 2 from the U-S Customs and Border Protection says: "CBP officers are highly trained to detect the illegal importation of narcotics. CBP's mission to prevent this illegal importation will remain unchanged."

Dilkens is hoping the two governments can eventually come to agreement on passing back and forth, but for now consequences are severe.

"It's a bright red line at the border, even if it's legal in Michigan and in Canada. If you try and cross into the U.S. along that bright red line you could be in jeopardy. For Canadians, you may never be able to enter the U.S. For U.S. citizens, it could be jail time," he said.

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