As an International student or an undocumented student you abide by federal law and not the state laws. International student are students who have an F-1 Visa and undocumented students are students, who have over stayed on their visa or have entered US without inspections.
Federal law classifies marijuana as a “Schedule I” controlled substance, like heroin or LSD. The growing or manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession of marijuana may lead to negative immigration consequences. Smoking marijuana is legal in California therefore it is only legal for permanent residents of California.
What happens if you’re caught with Marijuana?
US immigration law is very harsh and strict in terms of rules and regulations.
“Any alien who a consular office knows or has reason to believe is or has been an illicit trafficker in any “controlled substance,” or is or has been a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with others in the illicit trafficking in any such controlled or listed substance or chemical, or endeavored to do so is inadmissible. Inadmissible means that you will be barred from entering the United States,” states the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (S.358)
What should you do next?
We spoke to Pamela Ortiz the staff assistant at the Dream Center on what a student should do next-if he/she is caught up in such a situation.
“Say nothing to federal enforcement and contact an attorney as soon as possible
We have a free immigration lawyer that can do consultations 3:30-6:30 every Wednesday at the dream centre. So students, if they feel like they want to talk about this to an Immigration lawyer can come by and make and appointment with me or visIt tinyurl.com/skylegalclinic.” Ortiz said
How to avoid ending up in such a problem?
“At least students should be conscience off what they do and what they post on social media platforms such as instagram and snapchat. It is becoming more common that in Immigration interviews social media is brought up” Ortiz said.
Speaking about how people should avoid any unnecessary suspicion she said,
“The immigration attorney we work with has told students not to wear marijuana print clothing-pants, shirts or hats. Do not work in a dispensary. Because that can also arise a reasonable suspicion. Just being smart on how you’re presenting and knowing where you at, We do know that immigration officers do things first and ask later.” Ortiz said
In the end, we’d only suggest students to be smarter and stay aware of their surrounding no weed is worth risking your future for.