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Maine U.S. Border Patrol agents announced this week that even though the substance is now legal for recreational use in the state, they will still be confiscating marijuana if found at border crossings to Canada. Although voters decided to legalize marijuana, Border Patrol Officers are still under obligation to seize any federally illegal substance.
Since 2012, Maine Border Patrol agents have confiscated 720 pounds of marijuana over the course of 117 seizures, however, there have been no prosecutions following the seizures. Border patrol agents will not be looking specifically for marijuana, however, if suspicious behavior warrants a search, agents will seize marijuana if found. Border patrol agents are under federal instructions to search for and seize illegal substances.
In addition to the warning about marijuana seizures, Maine Border Patrol agents also issued a warning about applying for jobs. Although they are currently understaffed and searching for new employees to join the border patrol, Chief Daniel Hiebert warned against applying if one has used marijuana recently and/or have connections to the marijuana industry. As marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, and the U.S. Border Patrol is a federal agency, agents must abide by federal regulations, no matter their state laws.