Marijuana and Immigration don’t mix! At Landerholm Immigration, we see clients all the time saying, “I thought Marijuana was legal in California” and while there is some truth to that, this is not the case for the immigration system.
Immigration laws are federal law. Marijuana posession, use, sale, etc (in almost all cases) is a violation of federal law. As such, if any immigration law enforcement agencies, such as Customs and Border Patrol, determine you have violated federal marijuana laws, your pursuit of a visa, green card or other immigration benefit, will likely be impacted.
How Law Enforcement Learns of Your Marijuana Use
You might be wondering how law enforcement comes to learn about your drug use or possession. This can happen a few different ways.
- An Arrest – The most obvious way immigration law enforcement learns about your marijuana use is when you’re arrested for a crime. Even getting pulled over for speeding can result in acquiring marijuana paraphernalia, or the drug itself.
- Your Green Card Medical Exam – If the doctor learns that you have used marijuana, either by your own admission or through a test, that information will be shared with the federal government and likely trigger the denial of your case.
- Your Social Media Spaces – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other law enforcement agencies can look at your social media profile to learn about your drug use. If you post images, video or even allude to using the drug on your online spaces, you will be subject to more scrutiny and possible drug testing.
Green Card Holders (Lawful Permanent Residents)
Individuals who have obtained a green card are not “exempt” from this law either. Circumstances may be different, but if you have a green card and you are caught with marijuana, you could land in an immigration court and have to fight against deportation.
Marijuana – Best Action for Non-U.S. Citizens
- Do not partake in the buying, selling, distribution, trafficking, use, cultivating, or growing of marijuana.
- If medical marijuana is something that you need, and you cannot find a sufficient substitute, you should consult an immigration attorney before making a decision on your own.
- Don’t have possession of a marijuana card, or logoed stickers, t-shirts, or similar items that can make you a target for investigation.
- Remove references, texts, voicemails, photos from your mobile devices with anything relating to marijuana or cannabis industry.
- If you are currently working in or are being recruited to work in the cannabis industry, seek the help of an immigration attorney so they can help you navigate your unique circumstances.
Any questions relating to marijuana and your immigration case can be handled by one of our legal professionals or a deportation defense attorney. Please contact Landerholm Immigration and set up an appointment at our law firm to discuss your specific situation.