MA Law on Marijuana Use and Impact on International Student Visa Status

January 16, 2019

Dear Students, 

The ISO is reaching out to you with regards to questions concerning the recent changes in Massachusetts State Law regarding possession and recreational use of marijuana in Massachusetts.

It is VERY important reminder to international students that immigration laws reflect standards of Federal Law.  Therefore, under current Federal Law, the possession and use of marijuana remains a Federal criminal offense.  Conviction of this offense, or even the admission of such violation of Federal law, may lead to severe immigration consequences including arrest, revocation of current visa status, deportation from the U.S., and ineligibility for future visas to the U.S.  In addition, driving under the influence of drugs (or alcohol) can also result in an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  [Relevant Federal regulations include:  Federal Controlled Substances Act; Sec. 237 of Immigration and Nationality Act; Sec. 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act]

In light of the change in Massachusetts State Law, MIT updated its drug policy to provide clarification on questions concerning the use and possession of marijuana, and we strongly advise you to review the MIT policy.   Even with these changes to Massachusetts State Law and MIT policy, international students should be warned of the severe consequences on your immigration status for possession or use of marijuana.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your ISO Advisor.

Sincerely,
David C. Elwell
Associate Dean and Director
MIT International Students Office