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Politics

Under Trump, Legal Cannabis Is a Deportable Offense 

March 27, 2017

‘Sorry Buddy, We’re Canceling Your Visa’

(Gregory Bull/AP)

(Gregory Bull/AP)

For the software entrepreneur from Hong Kong, the business trip to the US to meet with Silicon Valley investors was also a homecoming. He had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for years while studying computer science at San Jose State University. During that time, he’d adopted some California customs—including treating his back and neck trouble, which he’d developed during long hours hunched over a laptop, with occasional puffs of medical marijuana.

The trip ended before the entrepreneur could leave the airport. Arriving at customs on a business visa, he encountered immigration officials who asked him questions about cannabis, according to Zachary Nightingale, a San Francisco-based immigration attorney who later consulted on the man’s case. (At Nightingale’s request, Leafly News is not identifying the man by name.) As soon as he mentioned his legal medical marijuana use, he was deported—forever.

“This was a legitimate businessman,” Nightingale said. “He thought he was doing everything by the book. They were like, ‘Sorry, buddy—we’re canceling your visa, and you can never come back to the United States.’”

It was hardly an isolated incident. Another man, who was employed at a major Silicon Valley tech firm on an H1-B visa, fared slightly better. After his airport interview turned up a medical cannabis recommendation, he was admitted into the country—but only for a week. Customs officials gave him just long enough to clean out his apartment before he, too, was deported, Nightingale said, with no chance of future re-entry.

 

Under the Trump administration, experts are advising immigrants to:
- Refrain from all cannabis use, including for state-legal medical purposes
- Not seek employment in the cannabis industry
- Remain silent when asked about past cannabis use
- Scrub mobile phones and social media accounts of any mention of cannabis

Medical cannabis is legal in California and nearly 30 other states, and adults 21 and over can legally possess and consume marijuana in eight states and the District of Columbia. But at the federal level—where decisions are made about who can come into the country, who can become a citizen, and who can’t—marijuana remains illegal. And under federal law, any connection to cannabis—including legal past use, whether in the US or abroad—is grounds for denial for entry into the country.

Legal cannabis consumption has been used to justify the cancellation of tourist and business visas, and the denial of citizenship and green-card applications, for years, according to immigration attorneys and drug policy advocates interviewed for this story.

Related

White House Plans ‘Greater Enforcement’ Against Legal Cannabis

If a customs official at the Canadian border spots a marijuana-leaf sticker on a car or discovers a medical marijuana recommendation in a wallet at the airport—and if and marijuana use is admitted in a subsequent interview—the traveler will be sent home. This was true when Barack Obama was president.

Experts are advising immigrants to scrub any mention of cannabis—including photos—from their mobile phones and social media.

But since Donald Trump’s election, zealous immigration and border officials have compelled legal experts to warn individuals against admitting any connection to cannabis. According to an advisory issued earlier this month by the San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center, “More and more, immigration officers are asking citizens and noncitizens alike if they have ever used marijuana—especially in states that have legalized marijuana.”

Those who admit to any cannabis use, at any time, anywhere, have been refused entry into the United States—or deported if they’re already here.

That’s true not only for individuals who entered the country illegally, but also for green card holders (legal permanent residents), who have been warned to refrain from all cannabis use. Experts are also advising them not to seek employment in the cannabis industry, and to scrub any mention of cannabis—including photos—from their mobile phones and social media accounts.

Related

How long does THC stay in your system?

In states where recreational use is legal, federal officials are asking more citizenship hopefuls cannabis-related questions. “As more and more states legalize, [officials] get more and more irritated,” said Kathy Brady, senior staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “They go to the states where’s it’s legalized and entrap people by having them admit to something that’s legal under state law.”

“It’s happening very intensely in Washington state,” she said. She’s expecting to see a similar uptick in cannabis-related questions during naturalization interviews in California following the passage of Prop 64, she said, “although we haven’t seen it yet.”

As States Legalize, Feds Double Down on the Border

The clash of new-generation cannabis legalization in states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon—and soon in California—is clashing directly with old-school border laws that treat anyone who’s ever touched a joint as a world-class drug smuggler. Add in the incriminating email and social media trails that most people now lay down, and you get a situation that’s injecting fear into thousands of legal border crossers. The Canadian government is expected to soon introduce legislation that would legalize cannabis for all adults 18 and older. But that law probably won’t become effective until July 2018–and it’s hard to say exactly how it will impact the questions asked of travelers at border crossings.

“What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.”
John Kelly, US Homeland Security Secretary

Since Trump administration came to power, laptop and mobile device searches by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have gone from rare occurrences to common demands. In 2009 and 2010, CBP officers nationwide conducted an average of 302 and 383 electronic device searches, respectively, per month. According to a recent NBC News report, that number grew to nearly 2,100 per month in 2016. Department of Homeland Security officials told CNBC that 5,000 devices were searched at the border in February 2017 alone.

This graphic captures the spike in electronic device searches at the US border by Customs and Border Protection officers:

“What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.”

At a congressional Homeland Security Committee hearing on Feb. 7, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that’s what he wanted foreign visitors to hear before they’re allowed to enter the United States. “And if they don’t want to give us that information, then they don’t come,” Kelly said.

It appears Kelly’s wish has become official policy on America’s borders. And once a CBP officer has a traveler’s phone or laptop (and passwords), it may only take a five-second Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter search for “marijuana,” “weed,” “pot,” or other cannabis-related terms to turn up enough evidence to refuse that person entry.

Related

Feds Still Jail More People for Cannabis Than Heroin

Cannabis use, and especially a cannabis arrest, can be used to deny entry or deport an otherwise legal entrant or resident. As Leafly contributor Stephen Paulsen will show in tomorrow’s series installment, even a minor, decade-old cannabis conviction is now considered grounds for deportation.

The Fallout Here at Home

Trump’s election, and the subsequent deportation fears, has even canceled out some of the anticipated benefits of Prop 64, California’s adult-use legalization initiative. The measure was expected to help noncitizens in the form of post-conviction relief— reducing felonies to misdemeanors—and employment opportunities in the cannabis industry, according to a September analysis from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

The warning applies to green card holders and undocumented workers alike.

But since the election, the Los Angeles County Public Defender has put on hold efforts to expunge past marijuana convictions for undocumented immigrants over fears of alerting Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Eunisses Hernandez, a policy coordinator with the Drug Policy Alliance.

Moreover, all noncitizens are being urged to stay away from marijuana jobs—including the agricultural work that pays better and offers better working conditions than wineries and farms that traditionally rely on undocumented labor. The warning applies to green card holders and undocumented workers alike.

Related

Think Cannabis is ‘Essentially Legal’ in California? Think Again

“Policy-wise, the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t see marijuana any differently than heroin, cocaine, or meth,” said Valerie Lopez, a Los Angeles-based immigration and criminal defense attorney. She advises any green card holder to refrain from working in a cannabis business for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

No hard data exists on how many times legal marijuana use has led to deportation, denial of citizenship, or cancellation of a visa. There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US, according to the Pew Research Center. Since Trump took office in January, a miniscule proportion—slightly more than 35,000 people, according to an ICE official—have been removed from the country. But there are fears that that number could increase rapidly.

Last month, DHS published a memo outlining new priorities for immigration control. Instead of violent criminals, “If you display any kind of conduct that is indicative of some trait the government doesn’t like, you can be deported,” Lopez said. “And one of them is drug and alcohol abuse.”

Related

Trump FDA, US Attorney Moves Could Shift Cannabis Landscape

As it was before Trump took office, most deportations begin with a brush with law enforcement. Any offense that would lead to an arrest, booking, and subsequent fingerprinting can alert immigration officials, who may then intercept the undocumented person at jail or in court. The person is then sent to a detention center for a hearing before a federal immigration court.

For visa applicants, the process is much briefer: a summary denial and a return flight home.

Those seeking citizenship are subjected to a lengthy examination, given under oath. Either an admission of drug use or a denial later revealed to be untruthful—perjury—is enough to derail the application process and bar entry into the US.

With legal cannabis more popular and prevalent than ever before, Nightingale said, US customs officials asking about marijuana “is an increasing problem that we’re pretty sure, under Trump, is only going to get worse.”

This is the first in a three-part Leafly News series on the Trump administration’s recent cannabis policy changes and how they’re affecting travelers, immigrants, and legal residents who cross the US border. Coming tomorrow: The story of one legal immigrant caught up in the new zero-tolerance era. 

Chris Roberts's Bio Image

Chris Roberts

Based in New York City, Chris Roberts has been writing about cannabis since spending a few months in Humboldt County in 2009. His work has been published in SF Weekly, Cannabis Now, The Guardian, High Times, and San Francisco Magazine, among others.

View Chris Roberts's articles

3 part series

  • JoBoxer141

    Sounds more like Obama’s America, MAGA!

    • BronxLady

      Except for the fact that it’s the Trump Administration .

      • lynnie

        He is not to blame for everything the media tells you, fact or fiction, most of it the latter

      • JoBoxer141

        Yup. It’s the Trump admin, and still no crackdown like Obama.

  • lynnie

    I think theres a lot more to this story than what is being told. Maybe there’s a underlying reason why they wanted to cancel his visa,you don’t know. I don’t believe that they asked him just about cannabis then told him to leave. It’s always easiest to blame someone than to find out all the facts first. But ya, lets blame Trump for all the corruption that goes on in the world……really?

    • Erik

      Thank you! I was Just about to call out what even this article had to admit: “If a customs official at the Canadian border spots a marijuana-leaf sticker on a car or discovers a medical marijuana recommendation in a wallet at the airport—and if and marijuana use is admitted in a subsequent interview—the traveler will be sent home. >>This was true when Barack Obama was president.<<"

      Methinks we may be submitting to the fear, don't jump the gun
      Trump admitted Many times how he "believes in its use as medicine"

    • Schmaltzy

      Trump is the reason for a lot of this. Federal agents now feel empowered to go after those who can’t defend themselves. Because that’s what bullies do. This administration would stop people from getting medical cannabis, despite the hundreds of thousands of people being helped by it. Helps with seizures, chemo tolerance, appetite enhancement for those whose illness diminishes their hunger. So yes, Trump is to blame. He’s pathetic and I hope you don’t support him because if you do, then you’re wearing that big “P” as well. Oh, and your grammar is terrible.

      • lynnie

        Oh, sorry my grammar offended you! Writing this quickly in wee hours after being up 26 hours I should have been more careful…….lol

        • Ken Crisp

          I hate when english teachers correct my spelling im not in school im 72 yrs old figure it out !

          • kirkmcloren

            Ken, they are grammar Nazis

          • Ken Crisp

            ha ha ha dont you hate em !

          • Dark Vèdar

            We exist because people are fucking idiots and because left handed people are smarter

          • Dark Vèdar

            OR you could learn how to fucking spell.

        • 143jeanne

          Ask them if they can write in cursive?? The PRINTING my nieces write is like a four year olds and they are “College”educated.

          • Dark Vèdar

            What does their handwriting have to do with anything.

        • SanDiegoSteve

          Yeah, because you actually had to work for a living.

        • Wazir Latiff

          War and more war.humble unite and share opinions. Not killing one another over another man’s reasoning.
          Out a every bitter their is a bit of sweet, just for you to find it.
          You can look at a rastaman and ask him if he smokes Marijuana.
          That would be the biggest laugh ever.
          These questions are for bald head to answer.
          Know the power of a rastaman,for we are people of politeness and humbleness.
          Them laws and clause with a whole heap a flaws I can’t bother to be bothered.
          Bless all and give thanks

      • lynnie

        Oh, and you do not know that Trump is the reason for a lot of this, and you do not know if federal agents now feel empowered to go after those who can’t defend themselves, or are you speaking as a federal agent? And….saying Trump and federal agents are “bullies”, your opinion, not a fact. You also said “yes” Trumps to blame, again…..your opinion. If the person whom you voted for did not get elected, you need to realize that Trump is president and move on.

        • mona19595

          Trump in every way shape or form is a bully to everyone around him. Not quite sure how any of those staffer’s put up with his incoherent conversations, paranoia and all of the rest. For someone who has no idea how government works he sure in hell is dismantling the federal government bit by bit. Now don’t get me wrong we don’t need a large Federal Government. I am all for cutting back, HOWEVER don’t you think you should know how it all works together before killing it off? This country has been in utter chaos since Inauguration day and I for one can’t wait until the man is IMPEACHED!!!

          • Jackson Shredder

            Well don’t hold your breath !!!

        • Excuse me

          My concern are Americans, like the one’s slaughtered in San Bernardino, over illegals, or potential threats entering the country as tourists. No other country has completely open borders, and those that do, or those that suspend those restrictions for certain classes of so-called refugees (military aged males should NOT be given refugee status), are currently in chaos, as any viewing on You Tube, or reading at Gatestone, will reveal.

          • 143jeanne

            A friend at church knows one of the people murdered in SB R.I.P Yvette Velasco

          • lynnie

            Agreed!!!! My friend lost her husband by a illegal immigrant in the US that was deported and let back in three different times. I can’t understand why this keeps happening. It has to be stopped

      • John Wurm

        Trump has been in office 3 months, you want to blame this on him? What did Obummer do the last 8 years?

        • lynnie

          Obama did a lot. 1-Lowest labor participation since 1970. 2-Millions of americans out of the labor force. 3- Lowest home ownership rate in 51 years. 4-Over 11 million MORE americans on food stamps since he became president. 5-Forty three million americans now live in poverty. 6-Added more to our national debt than all the other presidents combined, just to name a few……

          • John Wurm

            The reference was to the article, marijuana legalization. Obama had 8 years to do something, but did nothing. You blame Trump 3 months into office? Garbage, like the list you just cited.

          • lynnie

            ?? Of course I don’t blame Trump. You asked what Obama did in the last 8 years and here is a list of just some of the things that occurred while Obama was in office. All bad but nevertheless.

          • Excuse me

            Johnnie…just because it is true doesn’t make it garbage.

          • Sarah Montgomery

            @lynnie I can not believe, I just read what you post!!!! Unfxxxingbelievable !!!!!

          • lynnie

            What don’t you believe? The post is 100% true. All that is stated is 100% fact. Please just research it.

      • SanDiegoSteve

        Don’t be a douche. None of this rant of yours addresses the OP, which is about ILLEGAL aliens being deported, as they should, for any reason that can be found. Just the fact that they are here illegally should be enough.

    • Chuck Audio

      1st learn where apostrophes are located in contractions. Example: “theres”. Yes, you got it right
      on the second usage, but it was followed by an “a” rather than an “an”.
      2nd: go’s is not a word. “Goes” is. (see # 1).
      3rd: learn the difference between “then” and “than”.

      Who did Trump blame for not repealing the ACA?
      Who did Trump blame for “”wiretap(p)ing” Trump Tower?
      Who did Trump blame for voter fraud? (Which didn’t prevent
      his election)?
      Should I mention “Birther”?

      No one blames Trump for all (of) the corruption in the world any more than
      anyone blames you for all of the grammar and logic errors in the world.

      Yes, THERE IS A LOT (MORE) To this story THAN is being told.

      Class dismissed.

      ChuckAudio

      • Chuck Audio

        BTW: What you, I or anyone “BELIEVES” has NOTHING to do with TRUTH.

        • Chuck Audio

          There is so much blame to go around.

        • lynnie

          “YOU” do not know the truth. You can’t believe everything you hear.

        • lynnie

          Unfortunately,,,,,,,we do not know the truth!

      • lynnie

        Thanks for the lesson. However, after being up after 26 hours and writing my post I did not “care” or think about grammar. I did not know I was posting to college english professors. Looks like you have way to…….or is it two, or no, maybe too much time on your hands…..lol

        • dysonman63

          “collage” teehee…!

          • lynnie

            ok

        • Bill InPlayas

          Or, maybe you are just stupid.

          • lynnie

            Grow up and get a life. I can tell by the way you talk you most likely sit on social media sites all day long because you have so much time on your hands. You live with your mommy and you don’t have a job, your living off the people that do and you expect other people to support you! I notice in several of your posts you have called others “stupid”, “Mentally ill” and other words that I do not wish to repeat. You talk down to people and think you are superior compared to others. You talk rude to people because you think it makes you look smarter when in reality it makes you look even more stupid. So…..say what you want, I will not lower myself to the likes of you.

      • Steve Flores

        Thank you Chuck, you’re right. People just need to relax. This is another way for the left to lash out against Trump. No doubt Leafly is probably owned by leftists and people that want to destroy his presidency. Everyone, just take a DEEP BREATH !!!!! And relax. Have a wonderful day. And remember, God is in control because God truly is real.

        • Jackson Shredder

          “And remember, God is in control because God truly is real” –
          What an ignorant statement ! It surprises me how stupid you are Steve Flores. You sir, are an ignorant idiot !
          I suppose your going to tell us that Santa Claus exists also !!!

          • Steve Flores

            Good. An opportunity to get the illegals out of our country.

      • Excuse me

        Grammer corrections? Please. If this person was in front of you, would you be so rude as to point them out? And to sign off with class dismissed? Really? Are we attending a class?

      • lynnie

        Ok…..lets avoid the true issue.

    • BronxLady

      But the facts are what was reported here. You “think” there is a different story and you don’t believe this one, but you don’t have any actual facts to support that belief. One might argue that a couple of examples are not enough to prove this is an actual change in federal policy, but, if we’re sticking to the facts, you can’t just write it off as “blame Trump”.

      • Steve Flores

        These are not actual facts, they are just skewed facts and spin. You can’t believe everything you read about Trump. Remember, the media has an agenda to destroy him because he is trying to help the common people in the US. if you are a common person, which I believe you are, then use your rationale and don’t just rush to conclusions. That’s the problem with people today. They are too emotional. Nobody panicked like this when Obama was elected twice, right? So why are people panicking now? It’s because the media is causing this panic. Do you think that might be by design? Probably is. That’s what I’m saying. Relax and use your intellect. There are forces at work that want to destroy humanity. God is ultimately in control. If the media and Washington politicians and pundits hate Trump, that’s a good sign that maybe he is trying to help you, but here you are hating him. RELAX !!!!! Take a deep breath. These are not the facts!!!! Trust me. This is all just spin. Leave it in Gods hands. It will work itself out.

        • lynnie

          Amen

          • Steve Flores

            Thanks Lynn. People are just too brainwashed by the media these days. We need to break the cycle of CIA psy ops in this country through media propaganda. We may not believe this, but the US is one of the most highly propagandized countries in the world. Our very own deep state intelligence agencies in this country conspire against US persons, along with the NSA that collect all of our data. Thank God there are some people in the intelligence agencies that are fighting back against this nonsense. I am extremely informed. I know what the government does. I used to work in intelligence in the military.

          • lynnie

            I agree with you 100%. There is much more going on than what people think. It is crazy. And yes, God is in control.

      • lynnie

        First, you do not know if ALL the facts were reported. Second, when I wrote “I believe” it means “In my opinion”. Third, if you really believe what the media is reporting to be 100% accurate you should of found out how incorrect the media was during the election. Do your own homework and don’t be led by the media.

        • BronxLady

          Correct I do not know if all of the facts were reported. Thus far, those facts are what we have to work with. Doing my own homework, can you share some facts- not opinions- that contradict those in the article?

          • lynnie

            No, as you cannot as well. And when you wrote “those facts are what we have to work with” we do not know if the so called facts are even true.

          • BronxLady

            Which facts are not true? Thus far they have provided specifics and you simply say “I don’t believe them”. That’s fine to say you are unpersuaded, but that is very different than saying the article is false and made up by “the media” unless you have evidence.

          • lynnie

            I never said the facts are “made up”, even though I believe this is not the whole story. I said, don’t believe everything you hear or read from the media. The media has proved their trustworthiness during the election…….

    • Remove Democrats

      Yea, I think the Leftist spin machine is working overtime over here on Leafly.

      • BronxLady

        Someone who calls himself “Remove Democrats” probably isn’t the best person to comment on spin or objectivity.

        • Remove Democrats

          That’s a matter of opinion.

    • Eduardo Equihua

      Businesman and proffesionals holding visas or green cards are the ones been deported at customs, because they travel a lot, nation wide and internationally and on any thing related to marihuana usage. If a custom Border Patrol ever ask you if you know someone that is related to you that was caught with marihuana, please don’t lie, saying yes is going to get you in trouble but saying no is going to cost you deportation right away, and appealing outside of USA is extremely expensive and not worth it!

    • Vida Sawyer

      I don’t agree with your entire statement, but the part about them just asking him about cannabis and he said… what? No quote from him about what he actually said makes this a none-too-legit article. I think there is a lot more to it, too. What *is* clear to me is that his citizenship status isn’t even mentioned here. He is an “entrepreneur from Hong Kong” and was “living in San Francisco for years” while going to school. Maybe he had a student visa, maybe not. Maybe he had it but it’s expired now. The fact is, they have a legal reason to deport him.

      The deal in our Brave New World is that if you aren’t a natural-born citizen, you better damn well know the rules. It sucks that this is happening in the cannabis industry, but guess what, it’s happening and no amount of not liking it is going to change it. I’m not a Trumpy supporter by any measure and I disagree vehemently with everything he stands for – but we’re in a situation of LEARN THE RULES, not a situation of everybody gets a pass because they’re nice people or whatever.

      Yes, cannabis should be legal and users shouldn’t be messed with unless they’re breaking laws, which apparently this guy was, and he decided to tell immigration officers about it. Keep your mouth shut.

      • lynnie

        Thank you for understanding the point I was trying to get across. I am not saying I am against cannabis. Theres a lot of holes in this story. The only events we know of are the only ones that are being told.

      • Excuse me

        It is not a Brave New World, Vida. Its is the SOS. (Same ‘ol sh*t) Cannabis remains a Schedule one substance because Obama did not want to spend political capital doing the right thing and campaigning for a lesser classification. Locking people up for cannabis has been insane since the first incarceration. (We have a Opiod epidemic that is far more serious than weed. The old saw that “pot is a gateway drug” (not true) is applicable to prescription pain meds, and 78 people will die today from their use. Tomorrow 78 more will.)
        The use of Cannabis as a tool to remove otherwise law-abiding green card holders is unfortunate, but pendulums do swing to one side before they return to more middle ground. For illegals, or suspicious-for-what-ever-reason-alien travelers–and ICE and Border Security who are now doing their jobs as was originally intended–I say any port in a storm to remove those who are not here by permission, or those who might pose a risk.

      • Excuse me

        It is not a Brave New World, Vida. Its is the SOS. (Same ‘ol sh*t) Cannabis remains a Schedule one substance because Obama did not want to spend political capital doing the right thing and campaigning for a lesser classification. Locking people up for cannabis has been insane since the first incarceration. (We have a Opiod epidemic that is far more serious than weed. The old saw that “pot is a gateway drug” (not true) is applicable to prescription pain meds, and 78 people will die today from their use. Tomorrow 78 more will.)

        The use of Cannabis as a tool to remove otherwise law-abiding green card holders is unfortunate, but pendulums do swing to one side before they return to more middle ground. For illegals, or suspicious-for-what-ever-reason-alien travelers–and ICE and Border Security who are now doing their jobs as was originally intended–I say any port in a storm to remove those who are not here by permission, or those who might pose a risk.

        • Vida Sawyer

          Well, as a cannabis industry vet of about 15 years, I thank you kindly for your opinions.

    • Steve Flores

      OH WOW !!! The comment that I made after you was removed. Probably because I said that Leafly was owned by lefties…LOL You see how corrupt they even are. Censoring my comments !!!!

      • Zach Hammill

        That sounds like the Left for sure

      • Scott

        What the hell did your comment have to do with this article as written? Are you one of those idiots who makes everthing that they read political? It’s either right or left? Who gives a rats ass who owns Leafly. The article discusses what the Feds used to do and what they’re doing now in regards to weed and people coming into this country. Take the political sheit to Breitbart.

      • Dark Vèdar

        I’m going to need you to use a term other than “lefties” it’s hella offensive to those of us that are actually fucking left handed.

    • Petar P

      If it wasn’t obvious before, the “What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords” might have given it up.

  • Chuck Audio

    Oh sweet Jesus, please deport me! I’m African american born in Columbus, OH in 1969.
    I believe almost any other nation would have more love for me than my birth country at this
    point in time.

    • Excuse me

      Why does your race matter, and why should any nation love you or hate you? If you are so unhappy here, you might find someplace you like better, but it might come as a shock to you how little patience some countries have for lawbreaking–including Cannabis.
      It’s not up to the country to love you. That’s what a family is for.

    • lynnie

      You don’t have to be deported, you can LEAVE on your own! If you are constantly complaining about the USA and all its faults move to North Korea or somewhere else that you think you will be loved more. We will help you pack

  • MG Deegan

    Will enjoy it I am 1 start all these enjoy when there marijuana for my pain

  • “Medical cannabis is legal in California and nearly 30 other states, and adults 21 and over can legally possess and consume marijuana in eight states and the District of Columbia.”

    Marihuana (as the law spells it) has been a Schedule I drug since 1970. States cannot nullify decisions of the federal government by declaring it “legal” within their boundaries. They can refuse to _also_ make it illegal under state law, but the federal government has regulated these drugs in some form or another since 1906, and definitively controls what is legal and what is not legal. So, there is _no_ sense in which cannibis is “legal” to possess, use, or distribute. A case even ruled recently that “legal” cannibis use can prevent one from obtaining a gun license, as one fails an FBI background check.

    Reality check: States have tried various ways to ignore or nullify federal law (slavery, immigration enforcement / lack of enforcement). It is confusing and misleading to tell people “marijuana is now legal” without also saying, “…under this state’s law – you may still face federal penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and other loss of rights, if you purchase, distribute, or use marijuana.”

    • Steve Flores

      Sardonicus, you are correct in what you are saying. However, we the people, must continue this fight against the federal government because they are infringing on our rights as citizens to decide what is right for us. The federal government should have no jurisdiction in deciding whether or not we can consume cannabis or not. In contrast just look at the hypocrisy of the federal government. There are drugs that are legal because the federal government says they are legal that are far worse than marijuana, and in fact destroy lives and kill people, which marijuana has never done. Case in point, the opiate based pain med epidemic in this country is something that is rarely covered in this country and is killing people by the thousands every month. But this is legal and OK because the pharmaceutical companies have enough money to pay off the politicians to pass legislation to make it OK. And yet marijuana, has never killed one person ever. We must continue to fight against the hypocrisy of the federal government which is extremely corrupt to the bone.

      • “And yet marijuana, has never killed one person ever.”

        I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, myself. For instance, see here: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/unpacking-pots-impact-in-colorado/

        The article does note that they increases are difficult to quantify, but there is likely _some_ negative effect in play.

        I suspect, though, that you mean that marijuana, in and of itself, has not killed anyone. I agree this is true, if not mostly true (we don’t really know the long-term effects of use well, and marijuana smoke may assist in either removal or causation of cancer, depending on the researcher).

        I also agree that the federal government has long overstepped its bounds, and should be reigned in…

        • Steve Flores

          Exactly, I was referring to the actual smoking of the marijuana over a long term. There have been no recorded deaths linked directly to the smoking of marijuana. I’ve never seen one article on the death of someone that had smoked marijuana all their lives. I know people personally that have smoked marijuana all of their adult lives and are no dumber than anyone else really, for those that like to say that marijuana makes you dumb. And in fact, are quite healthy when compared to other people that I know that have never smoked. This is a personal observation only. But it’s remarkable to me that someone that has smoked marijuana all of their life can actually be in better health than someone that didn’t. And again, these are just personal observations amongst the dozen or so people that I am thinking about. four of which have smoked all of their lives and eight of which didn’t. It’s truly remarkable. I think the powers that be know what the true effects of marijuana are. This may be the reason why they are doubling down on not allowing it to be legal. A recent study done in colorado showed the opiate based pain med deaths were down due to folks replacing opiates with marijuana. About a 25% reduction.

          • Excuse me

            Leafly’s own researchers note smoking may be a poor choice, while vaping or ingesting is less risky for carcinogen exposure. Regular smokers should at least be aware of this and consider alternative methods.

    • BronxLady

      Maybe I misread the article, but it seemed the person whose visa was revoked in the story did not possess or consume marijuana in the US or bring it here. He only,when asked, reported truthfully that he used it legally for medical reasons in his own country and based on that they revoked his visa.

      • In the initial paragraphs, the article notes:

        “He had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for years while studying computer science at San Jose State University. During that time, he’d adopted some California customs—including treating his back and neck trouble, which he’d developed during long hours hunched over a laptop, with occasional puffs of medical marijuana.”

        So, essentially, he’d admitted to a federal crime (possession and use of marijuana inside the United States), which is justification for denial or revocation of a visa.

        • BronxLady

          Ok. So do you as a voter think it is sound public policy for the US government to have revoked the businessman’s visa for that stated reason? (I don’t as you can probably tell by the fact that I follow Leafly).

          • Public policy is a hard call.

            On one hand, I think the federal government controlling drugs the way it does is seriously overreaching (see previous comments of mine).

            On the other hand, I think it’s very good public policy for the executive branch to be in the business of enforcing the laws. Congress must change these laws, and if the executive branch gets into the habit of enforcing unpopular laws, perhaps Congress will “man” up and change them. As it is, whenever a new president shows up and elects to enforce some laws and not others, there is no impetus for change. The same is true of immigration. If people don’t want visas yanked or deportations to occur, _Congress_ needs to make changes. Getting ticked at the executive branch for enforcing unpopular (but constitutional) laws is simply an indication that people want all of the action without any of the difficulties (the president should enforce only the laws we like, but if the next president does differently, what a horrible person, etc.).

          • lynnie

            He is stating a fact, weather you agree with it or not……….

          • BronxLady

            Yes, I am aware that he is stating what the current Federal law is regarding cannabis.

            Laws and policies are changed/reformed all of the time. I was asking him if he agrees with the current law and policy or if he thinks it should be changed. I personally think it is not a sound reason to deny a businessman a visa because he smoked pot here as a student several years ago in college. And I would support any efforts by my elected representatives to change this policy. But I was curious what Sardonicus thought about the policy himself

  • Steve Flores

    OK listen up people. During the campaign trail, Trump said that he would allow the states to have their own say on the issue of marijuana as far as legalization goes. He did say that he preferred that it would be used only for medicinal purposes, but that the states would ultimately have their own say on this issue. Therefore, Leafly is blowing this out of proportion and is probably owned by lefties. therefore, you shouldn’t panic quite just yet. The woman that commented right below me is probably right. These people probably have other issues as well. I think there is enough information out there, that these officers at the border know, that marijuana use alone, doesn’t really constitute calling someone coming into the country a criminal. I think by now, most people know, even officers of the law, including border officers, that marijuana is not the threat they once thought it was. Regardless of the fact that the federal government still considers marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, it’s just a matter of time, that the prohibition curtain will fall on them too. They can’t continue to maintain this lie that marijuana is bad. Too many people know that this is BS. Just relax and carry on. And if you are an american citizen, why worry about it? You are going to get to smoke your weed regardless. The federal government really doesn’t give a shit if you get a high or not. It’s your own damn business, unless you try to change the world for the better. Then they’ll use it against you. That’s the only reason they maintain it’s illegality. But they’ll come around. They have to eventually. Just like alcohol.

  • Bill Landreth

    Wow a long and rocky history of being in control wow and I suppose no money coming in from Nevada medical at all.
    .. are not there a ton of suppositions in this article?

  • SanDiegoSteve

    I am all in favor of them getting any and all illegals out of here regardless of the method.

  • kirkmcloren

    Dont fool yourself. Pharma is spending millions to block weed. It Isnt just Trump or Sessions politics. Follow the money.

    • Excuse me

      Thank you, Kirk. Pharma is so friggin’ responsible for US healthcare costs it is disgusting. They want America right where she is–sick and getting sicker. The problem is–most people don’t know how bad it is until the food, water and medications they suck down have wrung out our mitochondria and left us like husks in our 50s-60s–sometimes earlier, it is sad to say.

  • dogger1

    It’s funny how this is only about entry into the USA because in other countries, it gets really scary. At least you have some rrights here, elsewhere, its prison and ransom.

  • Scott

    Sounds like the dude got caught up in the legal medical use of it in CA and the illegal Federal use of it. Having worked abroad many times it would not click for most from outside the country that something could be legal in one state but not another or not nationally. As an example, there are still dry areas/counties/cities in certain southern states and possibly others as well. When you tell this to foreign visitors they have trouble initially with the concept. They don’t get the construct of the US.

    He was probably very open customs when they asked and thought it was no big deal. There didn’t need to be anything more than that and they would not let him in. I always warn visitors about coming here and certain federal laws in force and I always read up on local laws when I travel abroad. I would hate to get caned in Singapore for throwing gum out on the street. Travelers, especially those that travel frequently or for business, should know and understand local laws.

  • Samuel Rivard

    that the main difference with legal medical cannabis in usa and canada… since in canada legal user are legal on a federal base you can travel around any provinces without issue and if a officer ask you you show your card or prescription and no problems… it sould be legal for recreational use soon too so you are all legal on federal level… in the us it is on a state level… im not surprise that these story happen… since there is a clear difference (not saying one is better that another…) there is also grey zone for medical users… and that not simplified it… probably why i wont be able to visit usa anytime soon…

  • reedster222

    Lol I find it funny how there are so many right wing commenters on here defending trump… you guys do know that trumps administration has already said that they don’t support legalization and on top of that your party is holding back overiding trump because most republicans in Congress don’t support legalizing it federally either… rip the legalization dream

    • But, but, but he said he’s in favor of “letting the states decide…”,
      (meanwhile, Trump is installing the most rabid “drug warriors” to top cabinet positions).

      Knew 18 months prior, what would happen to state-approved legalization
      if Donald Drumpf became POTUS, just based upon his initially-proposed,
      staunchly “anti-drug”, pre-election cabinet picks,
      (e.g. Giuliani, Christie, Secessions), which betrayed any and ALL
      of the weakly “pro-cannabis” campaign trail promises he uttered…

  • Karen Agnes Marquardt

    I hold a MJ medical license, after stage four breast cancer, I have outlived the timeline the doctor gave me due to RSO oil made with marijuana that I grew since Alaska has legalized growing it. I do not like smoking it but the medicine has kept me alive. God gave me the ability to be a good gardener, mother and allowed me to live in this wonderful land of Free Speech, so I would sooner trust a stoner, pot growing, tourist/visa holder, than a pussy grabbing, lying, money mongrel one percenter like Trump. What will happen to the children who come here for help for cancer and use MJ/RSO? Do they become a part of this condemnation??? Still praying for Trump’s impeachment and total legalization of God’s cancer cure. Hopefully this happens soon.
    REALLY !!!

  • Andrea Pieterse

    Not going to lie if you don’t like what leafly are saying don’t read it? Why has everyone got to be characterised and labelled. Can’t people just have there opinion with out the world calling them ‘lefties’. What does that even mean your quite clearing culturey conditioned. Go think for yourself don’t be brainwashed then be angry at the world for not agreeing. Also anyone in power is going to be bad for a country as anyone who would want to control a country is going to have the God complex. I don’t live in America and thank fuck for that. Stop being so negative, it quite clearing said these acts have been around before Trump. Learn how to read before you post comment that make you look like fools.

    Peace out.

  • Cheryl Haag Phelan

    Yay‼️‼️‼️‼️🇺🇸

  • BA5578

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this many comments on one story. I know this is 2 years old, but hopefully people will make it back around to this article.
    When Chris Roberts uses phrases like “this was true when Barack Obama was president”, “although we haven’t seen it yet” and even “as it was before Trump took office”, this is obviously just a way for him to vent at his hatred for President Trump. Literally ANY crime that puts an illegal alien on ICE’s radar is a “deportable offense”, since now you’ve actually come into the light of day by getting caught.
    As some people have commented, President Obama did literally nothing positive for cannabis law reform over the span of 8 years. If you think the Cole Memo was a “silver bullet” to federal prohibition, as its name indicates- it was just a Memo. All it did was advise the DOJ to ignore federal law.
    Cannabis law reform is a bi- partisan issue. Perhaps our federal law- makers are ready to listen to all of us on this matter. If not, we’ll continue to make things happen at the state level, one state at a time.