This week, many of us are stocking up on goodies to celebrate the beginning of a new year: caviar, champagne, marijuana. Well, technically Coloradans can start purchasing marijuana for their personal consumption on January 1, 2014 when special retail shops will be permitted to open. This results from Colorado voters approving a ballot measure in November 2012 that decriminalized marijuana possession of one ounce or less for adults over 21 and regulates the cultivation and sale of marijuana.
However, immigrants should find alternate ways to celebrate.
Although the federal government announced its marijuana related enforcement priorities in August 2013, namely that it would focus on protecting minors from marijuana and preventing criminal involvement in the industry, at the federal level, marijuana is a controlled substance and it is a crime to possess it or to engage in its production or distribution.
Of specific concern to immigrants is that immigration matters are regulated by federal law, which has not changed with regards to marijuana. Under immigration law, there are many areas related to controlled substances that could be problematic for marijuana users, producers, and distributors.
Please see my previous blog regarding these issues:
You may want to just stick to caviar. Happy New Year!
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