Conservative peer could be denied entry to US after cannabis revelation in Times | Cannabis

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A conservative peer may have jeopardized his chances of being allowed to return to the United States after legally smoking cannabis in Colorado, an immigration lawyer has claimed.

Daniel Finkelstein wrote in The Times on Monday how he first smoked marijuana at a friend’s house in the state, where buying limited amounts of the drug for recreational use had been allowed for nearly a decade.

But such admissions could lead U.S. authorities to deny future visas because while it’s now legal in several states, possession and use of the drug remains a federal crime, according to law firm partner Charlotte Slocombe. Fragomen and expert in American law. immigration law.

Lord Finkelstein, who does not drink, smoke or even drink coffee, described how he chose to try the drug only because he knew it was legal, “and I try never to doing things that are illegal”.

He is unlikely to be alone if he falls foul of the legal anomaly and US authorities decide to act. Tourists have been drawn to states from New York to Oregon, where the drug has been legalized for limited recreational use and is sold in licensed stores, bringing in billions of dollars in tax revenue annually.

Slocombe said the U.S. Embassy “having access to social media could ask about drug use, and any admission could lead to becoming inadmissible for a visa.” She added, “You don’t have to be convicted to be found inadmissible under US immigration.”

Finkelstein, who recently became manager of Chelsea Football Club, which is now under new American ownership, wrote in the article that his family had “studied the law quite carefully. Where could we buy it, where could we smoke it, who could smoke it. He and his eldest son then bought a cannabis strain called Jelly Pie from a store called Half-Baked in Boulder, and Finkelstein tried it a few days later.

“The effect wasn’t great,” he wrote. “It hasn’t changed my life. After my second puff, I told others that I had now decided I was against capitalism and nuclear weapons, but in truth, I was just like before, except I was very soft.

When a legal blog pointed out on Twitter that it may have fallen for the anomaly that possession and use of cannabis in states like Colorado and California is legal while still being prohibited in federally and could be banned from the country, Finkelstein replied, “They checked my passport before they sold me the drugs, so I don’t think so.

But Slocombe said the visa waiver, known as Esta and used by many travelers to the United States, asks: “Have you ever violated any law relating to the possession, use or distributing illegal drugs?” Anyone answering yes would become ineligible and would need a full tourist visa, and the application for this poses a similar question.

She said: “There are more instances of problems at the border with customs and border protection than at US embassies, but yes there is a real problem, especially along the Canada-US border. , because it is now legal in Canada.”

Finkelstein and Chelsea FC have been contacted for comment.

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