The Trump administration is going to use marijuana possession as another reason for deporting immigrants, according to John Kelly, Homeland Security Chief.
Currently, cannabis remains illegal under the federal law. However, 29 states have already established medical marijuana laws, and eight states allow recreational cannabis usage. According to the new measure, individuals who obey the state law will become subject to deportation.
Kelly announced that the Department of Homeland Security would search for illegal pathways of cannabis distribution within the country and arrest the offenders of drug policy according to the federal law.
Officials at the Drug Policy Alliance have recently said that the new drug policy was the opposite of progress. Whether it is deporting people for cannabis possession or building a wall, it is just another way of persecuting immigrants.
Jerónimo Saldaña, policy manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs, does not support the new measure. He finds it to be absolute nonsense that medical cannabis patients that are protected by the state law can become subject to deportation. The President’s administration has already been using the Drug War against immigrants. Kelly’s last week's announcement was just another step within the policy, according to the DPA.
The recent announcement demonstrates the real conflict between the federal and state laws on cannabis and proves the pressing necessity to cancel the prohibition of the substance on the federal level.
According to the Immigrant Defense Project, over 250,000 deportations involved people whose most serious offense was a drug possession. Thousands of families across the country have been separated due to deportation for drug-related crimes.
The ACLU has recently released a report noting that thousands of immigrants have suffered from “draconian immigration laws” that turned minor offenses into deportable crimes.
Melissa Moore, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York office, believes that states should stand against this new strategy and protect their residents.