Well-Known Guitarist Deported from Middle East for a Vape Pen

D.J. Williams had no idea he had a hash oil cartridge stashed in his luggage when he felt a hand grab his shoulder on his way to find his sister’s car outside Abu Dhabi International Airport. Williams’ sister, an assistant professor at Zayed University, had just had a baby, and he had come for what he thought would be a weeklong visit in April to meet his nephew.

Straight from Los Angeles, Williams—the guitarist for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and head of his own musical outfit, D.J. Williams’ Shots Fired—was wearing ripped jeans and a leather jacket, his hair an afro.

“I’m pretty sure I was picked out,” he said told HIGH TIMES in retrospect. “The other people around me getting searched looked like hippies and artists.”

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Torture Victim Seeking U.S. Asylum Faces Deportation for Dropped Pot Charge

Marco Coello was 18 when he was arrested in Caracas Venezuela at a protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelan police kicked and beat Marco with a golf club, fire extinguisher and tortured him with electric shocks.

After three months, he was released on bail and fled to the United States, where he sought political asylum.

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Homeland Security Chief: We’ll Absolutely Deport People for Marijuana

John Kelly’s tenure as a reasonable person with sound and sane views on marijuana lasted less than 48 hours.

On Sunday, the Homeland Security chief won fans in drug-reform circles with his statement that cannabis is “not a factor” in America’s drug war—not with opiate overdoses killing more people than auto accidents across the country, and certainly not with a multibillion-dollar, legal domestic cannabis industry—and then went a step further, declaring on NBC’s Meet the Press that “the solution is not arresting a lot of users.”

“The solution,” he said, “is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill. And then rehabilitation. And then law enforcement. And then getting at the poppy fields and the coca fields in the south.”

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The HIGH TIMES Guide to Trumping ICE

[Editor’s Note: HIGH TIMES wishes we could offer sanctuary smoking seshes for all of the pot-loving undocumented stoners and MMJ patients out there. Unfortunately, that’s just a pipe dream (pun most definitely intended); but while we can’t get you high, we can still expand your mind. Education is one of our most powerful weapons, so please share this guide with everyone and anyone you know who might be affected under the Trump administration’s deportation policies.]

Even though marijuana legalization is sweeping states countrywide, and recreational usage has also been decriminalized in some states, don’t get too comfortable just yet. You can still be deported, for smoking.

“As of February 25, 2017, 608 aliens in ICE custody have a marijuana-related offense listed as their most serious criminal conviction,”Jennifer Elzea, acting press secretary for ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), told HIGH TIMES. “ICE notes that marijuana-related offenses cited include, but are not limited to, the possession, selling, and smuggling of marijuana.”

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U.S. Army War Vet Faces Deportation for Non-Violent Drug Offense

An immigration hearing was held in Chicago this week for an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, sustained a brain injury in combat, suffers from post-traumatic stress—and may now be deported to Mexico over a non-violent drug offense.

Pfc. Miguel Perez Jr, 38, came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was just eight years old. Perez, whose parents are both U.S. citizens, told the immigration judge he loves the United States and considers himself a devoted patriot. After the 2.5-hour hearing, the judge said a decision will be issued in a few weeks.

“He’s more American than most of us standing here, because he did pick up arms to defend this country,” Perez’s mother said at a press conference at Lincoln United Methodist Church in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. 

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