The amount of marijuana seized by U.S. customs officials at the country’s northern border increased by roughly 76% in the first year of Canada legalizing cannabis.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 4,881 pounds of marijuana from individuals attempting to enter the country from Canada by land between Nov. 1, 2018, and Oct. 31, 2019, a CBP spokesperson told The Washington Times on Tuesday.
Comparatively, CBP seized 2,776 pounds of marijuana from travelers entering the U.S. from Canada by land during the same period the previous year, the agency spokesperson said.
“Although CBP recognizes an increase in marijuana seizures and incidents, seizures and incidents normally vary from year to year,” said the CBP spokesperson.
Canada legalized marijuana on Oct. 17, 2018, joining Uruguay to become the second country in the world to let adults nationwide use the plant for recreational purposes.
Most states in the U.S. have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, including several located along the Canadian border.
Marijuana remains prohibited under U.S. federal law, however, effectively making it illegal for individuals to transport the plant into the country or across state lines.
The more than two tons of marijuana seized within the first 12 months of Canada legalizing cannabis resulted from 3,917 separate incidents, the CBP spokesperson said, up from 3,139 during the previous year.
CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, first reported CBP’s stats Monday.