Marijuana Laws

Marijuana and You: Know the Law
By India Baker Hudspeth, International Student Advisor

The laws around marijuana use in the U.S. have been changing in recent years and it can be difficult to know what is allowed and what is not. Eight states have now legalized recreational marijuana use and 28 have legalized it for medicinal use.  You may have even heard people talking about visiting these states to use marijuana.

So what does this mean to you, as an international student or scholar?

If I go to a state where marijuana is legal, can I use it?

NO! Foreign nationals (even green card holders) are subject to federal immigration law. Marijuana for recreational and medical purposes is prohibited by federal law.

What are the potential consequences of using marijuana?

Doing anything that violates federal laws can impact your immigration status. Admission of drug use, an arrest or a conviction could lead to cancelled visas, criminal records, problems at port of entry, employment issues or even deportation.

What if I use marijuana but I’m never arrested or convicted?

Even if you are not arrested, you can still face consequences. Keep in mind that when you enter the U.S. from abroad, you may be asked for access to your cell phone and computer. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents are allowed to search your devices for social media and internet activities.

When it comes to marijuana: Just say no.  Don’t break the law and risk your immigration status.

If you have any questions, please contact your International Advisor.