Adrian Dorst, a 68 year old nature photographer from Vancouver Island in Canada, was refused recently at an airport last week for having a drug conviction on his record. The kicker? The bust is from 1967 - and the 45 year old conviction prevented Dorst from merely passing through the United States on his way to a two-month-long hiking trip in Ecuador.
Flashback to 1967: The Daily Chronic reports that the police raided a communal apartment in Ontario, and arrest Dorst for having a pipe with resin in the bowl. The pipe, Dorst said, was a decorative one that he picked up in the Middle East as a souvenir from his travels. The judge at the time admonished the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for arresting Dorst on such trivial charges.
But in back in 2012, the arrest was still a looming threat. Even though Dorst had traveled to and through the United States since the 1967 arrest, he was stopped this time by a United States border agent in Vancouver. Dorst was bound for Quito, Ecuador - but first had a connecting flight from Vancouver to Houston, Texas. Dorst was brought into a back room for questioning, where they brought up his run-in with the law. When asked if he had any other convictions, Dorst freely admitted he had been arrested for some anti-mining and anti-logging protests as well. The Department of Homeland Security agent that was interviewing Dorst let him know that he'd need a waiver to enter the United States, and otherwise, he was inadmissable due to his convictions.
"I have been to the U.S. many times over the years and they never had any such information before," Dorst recently told the Vancouver Sun.
The "Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility" that Dorst can fill out costs $585 for the application alone - and it is advised that you consult a lawyer before applying for one. This would be on top of the $1,250 in plane tickets that Dorst never got to use. When asked if he would apply for the waiver, Dorst replied, "absolutely not."
"I'll send Homeland Security an invoice, but I doubt they'll pay it," Dorst told the Sun.