Advocates warn immigrants in New Mexico to stay away from marijuana

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Immigration advocates are really stressing the dangers of consuming cannabis for folks who are not U.S. citizens. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. That means, partaking in any way could have consequences.

It is a day many have been looking forward to for the last year. Recreational marijuana sales are now legal in New Mexico.

“Our advice to our clients, is no, don’t use marijuana,” said Shalini Thomas, supervising DOJ accredited representative with the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. “We know this is unfair. We know it’s legal locally. We know your friends are using it.”

“Admission to marijuana even in a jurisdiction where it is legal, like New Mexico can have massive negative immigration consequences,” she said.

Anyone without citizenship can face major consequences for admitting to marijuana use even working alongside it.

“Those consequences can be anything from denial of entry into the United States, denial of an application of residency, denial of an application of citizenship,” Thomas said.

It’s a message she wants immigrants to really consider moving forward.