By: Yeon Me Kim

In many states and the District of Columbia, the cultivation, possession, distribution, and use of both medical and non-medial (recreational) marijuana has become legal. However, if you are planning on becoming a U.S. citizen, you should be careful when engaging in these activities because they are still prohibited under federal law. Marijuana is classified as a “Schedule I” controlled substance under federal law. Hence, its manufacture, cultivation, possession, or distribution could have adverse criminal and immigration consequences. In light of this, USCIS has clarified that an applicant for naturalization, who is engaged in marijuana-related activities in violation of federal controlled substance law, could be found lacking good moral character, and thus, may not receive a favorable decision on his or her naturalization application.