Marijuana, Citizenship and Good Moral Character

Marijuana, Citizenship and Good Moral Character

good afternoon my name is Alena
Shautsova I am an immigration attorney from Brooklyn New York in today’s legally
speaking seminar I would like to talk to you about citizenship marijuana and good
moral character recently many states decided to take an approach to
decriminalize certain actions related to marijuana harvesting marijuana
dispensing it selling at transporting it due to what’s called medical marijuana
use and as a permitted usage your there is a movement to decriminalize certain
offenses like possession and usage of marijuana for once one owns purposes
right when you’re not selling it and things like that
however on the federal level marijuana it’s still a control substance offense
and in response to this movement United States federal government immigration
issued a policy memo clarifying that if persons found to be engaging in
certain actions related to harvesting dispensing transporting distributing
marijuana he or she will have them aggression issue in particular he or she
may be barred from becoming a u.s. citizen during the statutory period okay
so let’s talk about that what does it mean well it means first of all if you
were ever arrested okay if you were ever arrested but we’re not convicted because
the act became not a criminal act under the state law arrested in connection
with a control substance marijuana you will have to consult with an attorney
before you file for the citizenship it’s very important statutory period usually
is five years however the government usas is not bound by the five years
actually the regulations state that they can go back far back as ten years over
they can look at your entire migration history in the United States let’s say
if you have multiple convictions or you didn’t have convictions you have
multiple dismissed offenses related to control substance you also may have a
problem that what it means so what what what are we talking about usually we’re
talking about the fact that you know the biggest problem as I see it will be is
when the marijuana industry will become legal in the state level when you’ll be
able to have let’s say plan to or a factory producing medical marijuana and
say you’re working right you’re working in that plant and do disclose your
employment you know you’ve never been using it you never been let’s say
distributing it but you work for factories that now deals with the
control substance under federal law and guess what you will be precluded most
likely at least under the current regulations from becoming a US citizen
because your actions may fall under dispensing transporting distributing
definition of dealing with control substance interestingly now that for
Canadians where marijuana industry is legalized from what I understand neither
state government stated that Canadians who are seeking admission to the United
States will not be precluded from getting into the United States as long
as they do not carry out activities related to marijuana in the United
States so that’s very interesting right but for the people who live here it
seems to be a problem what is the lack of both moral character
good moral character means that you are a good person
and you don’t have criminal acts and you are fit to be a US citizen another area
that can be tricky here is that you don’t have to be actually convicted if
the United States find out that you were engaged in acts in the time that can be
your own admission let’s say the office is gonna ask you
have you ever used marijuana for your own use right and you say yes and they
say when you say well I was a year ago with a friend that’s enough but you find
a good a lack of good moral character alright so it doesn’t have to be
conviction it doesn’t have to be dismissed conviction can be your own
admission so from all of that we can just make logical conclusion that in
every case where you came into connection with a controlled substance
even if it was marijuana even if it’s decriminalized on state level you need
to consult with an attorney prior to filing for your application to see
if you’re eligible to file you have to wait for five years and prior to go
going to the interview if you already filed and you can learn more about that
on our website


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