Marijuana and immigration law do not mix! Please watch this video where we explain the intersection of Marijuana and how it can affect an immigration case.
We get many clients who come in with questions about marijuana. Here are the basics:
- If you are an immigrant, the best advice is to NOT use (or have anything to do with) marijuana, EVEN if you live in a state where marijuana is legal.
Just because the state you live in may have “legalized” marijuana, this does not help immigrants. This is true even if you solely want to use it for medical purposes. This is because under FEDERAL law, marijuana is still defined as a “controlled substance” and since immigration law is also federal law (not state law) it causes a serious problem for your immigration case to have anything to do with marijuana.
- Possession, use, sales of, possession of paraphernalia of any “controlled substance” can make a person “inadmissible” (ineligible for a green card or visa) and in some situations, “deportable.”
Possession, use of, sales of, possession of paraphernalia of, transportation of any “controlled substance” are crimes, and make a person “inadmissible” under Immigration and Nationality Act section 212(a)(2)(A(i)(II), and “deportable” under section 237(a)(2)(B). In fact, some of these can be considered “aggravated felonies” under section 237(a)(2)(A)(iii), which, if they lead to a conviction, will lead a person to become deportable and ineligible for most forms of relief, and ineligible to ever return to the US – even if you had a green card at one time.
- If immigration asks you about any drug use, it is better to remain silent than it is to incriminate yourself.
Everyone has the right to remain silent. It is better to remain silent when asked direct questions about drug use or history than it is to incriminate yourself. Be confident and say “I choose to remain silent” or “I choose to remain silent until a lawyer can advise me” instead of answering direct questions.
- Do not have any reference to any drug or marijuana on social media, facebook, emails, texts or in your phone.
The immigration officers, including at the airport or near the border, can and will look through your phone, your social media channels, and even email and text history for information about marijuana or other drug use. If they find anything, they can deny your entry, confiscate or cancel your visa, or put you into deportation proceedings. Be smart, and please do NOT put anything that can be used against you on your social media channels or on your phone!
- Do not go alone. If you have questions about any of this, get expert advice!
I highly recommend that you discuss your situation with an immigration expert so you can get top-quality advice before submitting your immigration case and certainly before going to an immigration interview. Be sure to be 100% honest with your immigration lawyer so they can help you and give you smart advice on what to say and what not to say. In an interview, you must say the truth, but you do not have to incriminate yourself. Get good advice on how to do this.
If you have additional questions, please contact our expert immigration lawyers at Landerholm Immigration, APC. Our number is (510) 491-0291. We would love to help you through the process!