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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawUS Marriage Visas: Can Marijuana Usage Impact Applications?

US Marriage Visas: Can Marijuana Usage Impact Applications?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing marijuana and the impact that it can have on US Marriage Visa processing. Specifically we are talking about US Marriage Visas; the K-3 Visa, the CR-1 Visa and the IR-1 Visa which are the primary types of visas we deal with for spouses of Americans here from the US Embassy in Thailand. 

I am bringing this up because not only have we seen a relaxation of various State Laws regarding marijuana and cannabis, specifically Colorado comes to mind, I believe Washington State, California with its medicinal marijuana regime, we have seen a lot of relaxation at the state level on policies regarding medicinal cannabis as well as recreational use of marijuana. I think a lot of that is coming from a policy standpoint because it is a great cash crop. It my understanding Colorado's budget is doing just fine as a result of having made these changes with respect to marijuana law.  That being said, the Federal Government has not changed their laws with respect to marijuana being considered a Schedule 1 drug. It remains highly, highly regulated and a violation of Federal Law with respect to possession, usage, selling etc., of marijuana, it is all still in place and you have to keep in mind, Immigration Law is Federal as well. More notably, Immigration Law specifically Legal Grounds of Inadmissibility as stipulated in the Immigration and Nationality Act, inadmissibility resulting from matters pertaining to marijuana, that inadmissibility may be short of a conviction for something involving marijuana. So for example, simply admitting for example in open court or in some kind of an Immigration adjudication, simply admitting to having being involved in marijuana, consuming marijuana, possessing it, whatever, that may rise to the level of a legal ground of inadmissibility notwithstanding the fact that one has never been actually convicted of a crime involving marijuana. 

Another thing to keep in mind and this is specific to those over here in Thailand, and Thailand it should be noted has recently been re-configuring their legal apparatus with respect to marijuana and cannabis, most notably with respect to medicinal marijuana, because they are bringing online through their FDA and their medical regime here, a cannabis and cannabis products line for lack of better term, they are basically bringing cannabis online as a medical treatment here in Thailand. Exactly how this is going to shake out in Thailand remains to be seen but it seems like they are very serious about this issue and cannabis and marijuana are going to be, in my opinion, probably regularly consumed at least in a medical context by folks here in Thailand relatively frequently. 

Keep in mind those legal grounds of inadmissibility for American law and American Immigration still exist and those who are looking to get a Marriage Visa such as a K-3 Visa, CR-1 Visa and IR-1 Visa to the United States, they have to undertake a medical exam which is performed by a Civil Surgeon accredited by a US mission here in Thailand. That civil surgeon, one of their functions if you will is determining whether or not one is medically unfit to go to the United States i.e. whether or not one has a medical reason for finding a legal ground of inadmissibility and being on marijuana could be one of those legal grounds or one of those findings that the medical examiner could make, which could result either a full-on bar from going back to the United States or a prolonged delay in getting to the United States as a result of a finding that an individual has been consuming marijuana or cannabis

Exactly how that would play out would probably be case specific issue but it is something to keep in mind especially with respect to US Marriage Visas being sought from Thailand the fact that matters pertaining to marijuana remain legal grounds of inadmissibility to the United States notwithstanding future legality here in Thailand or future legality in specific States within the United States itself.