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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How America’s Drug War Is Affecting Illegal Immigration

The firebrand opponents of undocumented immigration currently agitating for a looming wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—and calling for mass deportation of the people whose labor cares for our children, produces our food, builds our houses, and otherwise keeps the economy going—are also generally fans of the drug war.

The alt-right think-tank that generates what passes as policy for the Trump Administration is a prime example of this. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has harsh words for both marijuana legalization and “illegal immigrants.”

But in a twist, the drug war is making the immigration “problem” worse—in an unexpected way. Over the past year, there’s been a drop in the number of would-be migrants apprehended at the border, as The New York Times reports. Instead of people coming north, it’s money flowing 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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How Trump’s Draconian Immigration Plan Will Encourage Organized Crime

The New York Times, one of the major news outlets barred from White House press briefings, recently ran an opinion piece entitled “The Immigration Facts Donald Trump Doesn’t Like” which pointed out:

“The moral case against President Trump’s plan to uproot and expel millions of unauthorized immigrants is open-and-shut. But what about the economic cost? This is where deeply shameful collides with truly stupid.”

Just how stupid?

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Student with Legal Status Arrested for Small Amount of Weed During Immigration Raids

Panic is palpable and no one feels safe, according to one student in Texas who spoke with HIGH TIMES on condition of anonymity.

Since Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of raids this month among immigrant communities around the country, hundreds of undocumented immigrants have been rounded up.

According to the Homeland Security webpage, last week’s ICE raids had netted at least 683 “criminal aliens.” And they continue.

Read more at High Times