Immigration Considerations of Legalized Recreational Marijuana

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Recently, New York became the 16th state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana. We wanted to remind you and your employees that the use, purchase or possession of marijuana is still a crime throughout the United States under federal law, regardless of state legalizations. Use of marijuana by a foreign national (H, L, E, TN, lawful permanent resident, etc.) even in a state where it is legal could have grave consequences (including removal from the United States). Moreover, a noncitizen who admits to a U.S. immigration or law enforcement official that he or she possessed or used marijuana could be found inadmissible, denied entry into the United States, or have his or her application for lawful status or naturalization denied. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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