In June 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made Illinois the 11th state to legalized marijuana. The law will take effect January 1, 2020, allowing adults residents to partake in recreational marijuana along with a larger portion allotted to medical card holders.
Unfortunately, not all residents will be able to enjoy the fruits of this governor’s administration labor. Although recreational marijuana is legal here in the state, it may still be considered illegal for some residents on the federal level for immigration purposes.
In order for one to become naturalized, they must comply with five core requirements, one being “must possess good moral character”. To show good moral character, there must be a lack of involvement in illegal activity. So it would be thought that since marijuana possession is now legal, a resident facing immigration issues should have no problem. If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, cannabis-related activity is still illegal federally, therefore provides a conditional bar to naturalization.
Not only may this prevent naturalization, but may also not preserve the green card and may cause removal or inadmissibility. This is a lot of trouble for a little marijuana allow under the law and not be worth the trouble. Make the wise choice and become a citizen first so you can enjoy the freedom under the law. For those not facing those immigration issues, blaze up!!