Immigrants: Think twice before you get a medical marijuana card

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Federal Crimes

Marijuana use is increasingly accepted by both the American medical community and American society — whether the use is purely for recreational purposes or has its roots in a medical need. The fact that medical and recreational marijuana are gaining legal ground in numerous states is proof of that.

However, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Further, it’s illegal to transport marijuana across state lines — even if you are going from a state that permits marijuana use to one that permits marijuana use. Crossing state lines with any form of the drug immediately puts you in the crosshairs of the federal government. Federal law always trumps state law in a jurisdictional dispute.

Furthermore, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has a warning for people — particularly immigrants — living anywhere within 100 miles of the national border: Beware. United States Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agents frequently use their power to enforce federal drug laws. Immigrants could especially be in danger of prosecution for marijuana use or transportation — and CBP agents can search cars without a warrant.

If you’re an immigrant, even having a medical marijuana card can endanger your status in this country. Recent policy guidelines announced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stated that “immigrants with ties to marijuana” may be found to deficient when it comes to their “good moral character.” This is true even when marijuana use is legal in their state recreationally or when they’ve acquired it with a medical marijuana card. Any immigrant who doesn’t have a “good moral character” can be denied citizenship, have their current immigration status revoked and be deported.

If you’re facing federal charges for marijuana possession, take no chances with your future. Get experienced legal advice right away.

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