There is some serious disconnect between state and federal law when it comes to marijuana.  Although it is legal to smoke marijuana in many United states, it is still a Schedule I federally controlled substance.  And, even more importantly for immigrants, it makes you inadmissible if you are trying to be admitted to the U.S. and deportable if you already have a green card.  There is an exception.  You are not deportable if it is a single offense involving possession for your own use of 30 grams or less.


How does this play out?  You are at a U.S. port of entry and are referred to secondary inspection.  Officers are searching your wallet, your luggage and cell phone and are finding photos of a marijuana dispensary, or a medical marijuana card or other evidence that you may have at least tried marijuana.  They will then put you under oath and ask you if you’ve ever tried marijuana.  When you admit it, you are turned away or placed in deportation proceedings.


It’s a harsh lesson but one that needs to be heeded.






Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.