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Moral terpitude and Cannabis.

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Some years ago, I had reason to apply for a US Visa, to transit the US on my way to Canada. Initially my visa was refused, as I had a criminal record in Australia for marijuana cultivation, possession and supply marijuana.
I wrote to the US Consul at the US Embassy in my town and appealed the decision. I was asked to put a case to the Consul, which I did.
One day I was called in for an interview, and the Consul told me that, after reading my appeal and transcripts of my trials, he would approve my Visa. He explained to me that my "crimes" were not considered "moral terpitude", and I was free to enter the US, despite my prior marijuana convictions.
I believe this is the same status that John Lennon had when he appealed his visa knockback after a cannabis bust. I am now able to get a visa, but I have to get my passport back first - it was cancelled after I was caught with multiple passports while I was car smuggling into Iran.

In general terms, a crime of moral turpitude refers to a crime that encompasses a base or vile act. The case law interpreting the term "moral turpitude" is not always consistent. However, the following offenses, whether charged as felonies or misdemeanors, are of the type that have typically been found to be crimes of moral turpitude:

* crimes which involve either an intent to defraud or an intent to steal as an element;

* crimes which involve an element of intentional or reckless infliction of harm to persons or property;

* sex crimes, in which "lewd" intent is an element.

Additionally, felonies and some misdemeanors in which malice is an element are commonly held to be crimes of moral turpitude.

Serious offenses, such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, buglary, larceny, aggravated assault, prostitution, and even shoplifting have been held to involve moral turpitude.

The statutory language is as follows:

Quoting 8 USC 1227 - Deportable Aliens

(a) Classes of deportable aliens

Any alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens:

* * *
(2) Criminal offenses
(A) General crimes
(i) Crimes of moral turpitude

Any alien who--

(I) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years (or 10 years in the case of an alien provided lawful permanent resident status under section 1255(j) of this title) after the date of admission, and

(II) is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed,
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