Privacy Experts Say You Should Buy Weed With Cash, Not Card

Putting weed on plastic probably feels pretty cool and progressive. Unfortunately, it can also be very compromising.

According to Canada’s privacy watchdog, leaving a payment trail for something that remains banned in most of the world can make your life unnecessarily difficult.

“Cannabis is illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada. The personal information of cannabis users is therefore very sensitive,” said Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

“Some countries may deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.”

The solution, according to privacy experts, is to buy your marijuana drugs with cash, like you did out back in the pines in high school. Except not literally there, because that’s exactly what the government wants to avoid with the whole legalization thing. There’s a pretty major obstacle, however. Many, if not most, Canadians purchase their goods online. For example, Ontario is still without a single retail location where you can buy pot over the counter. Also, people generally don’t have cash anymore.

It’s up to both consumers and sellers to educate themselves on their respective responsibilities when it comes to privacy. In short: if you’re buying weed, don’t provide any more personal info than is absolutely necessary. If you’re selling weed, establish a clear privacy policy and treat the info you receive with utmost confidentiality.

“Private organizations are required by law to develop policies and practices to meet their responsibilities under the (law),” said Therrien.

“The best way of ensuring (compliance) is for management to emphasize that protection of personal information is a company priority and to ensure that all staff are trained in, understand, and follow the privacy policy in everyday transactions.”

Stories have already emerged of Canadians being banned for life from entering the United States after admitting to (legally) participating in weed stuff. Be careful out there.