Nathanael Burton

Maine’s top Border Patrol official said that the agency would continue seizing cannabis products despite the forthcoming voter-approved adult-use legalization program, the Portland Press Herald reports. Chief Daniel Hiebert said the Border Patrol must follow federal, not state, laws.

Moreover, Hiebert indicated that Border Patrol applicants could be disqualified from employment consideration due to, not just their own cannabis use, but whether their family has ties to the cannabis industry; adding that at least one applicant was rejected because of a family member’s involvement in the medical cannabis industry.

Hiebert said that while Maine Border Patrol agents aren’t actively searching individuals for cannabis they would not ignore it if discovered.

“I don’t have the staff we are supposed to have to do our regular work,” Hiebert said in the report, noting that his staff has 183 agents, which is about 30 short of what is recommended to police the state’s border with Canada. “So border agents are being told that if you encounter marijuana, go ahead and seize it. But don’t go looking for it because that is not part of our primary mission.”

So far this year Border Patrol agents have carried out 19 cannabis seizures, and 117 total since 2012 – totaling roughly 720 pounds, Hiebert said. However, none of those seizures have resulted in a single prosecution.

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