GOP Congressman Who Backs Marijuana Reform Files Bill To Deport Prince Harry For Allegedly Lying About Drug Use

August 12, 2023 ·

A GOP congressman who has sponsored marijuana reform legislation is filing a new bill to target immigrants who’ve lied about illicit drug use on their visa applications—sending a political message amid conservative scrutiny of the UK’s Prince Harry, who has disclosed using psychedelics and cannabis before moving to the U.S.

On Tuesday, Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced the Substance and Possession Abuse Restrictions for Entrance (SPARE) Act, the name of which is a reference to the duke’s memoir—titled “Spare”—about his experience growing up as British royalty.

The congressman’s stunt comes after a conservative think tank sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a copy of Prince Harry’s immigration records to learn if he admitted to using illicit substances on his visa application, as he’s publicly discussed a number of times since taking residence in the country.

“The Biden administration deliberately refuses to enforce our country’s immigration laws at the Southern border, and it appears they may be obstructing the fair and equal enforcement of our visa laws as well,” Steube said in a press release. “Left-wing celebrities like Prince Harry, who have a self-recorded history of illegal drug use, should be subjected to the same standards and enforcement of our country’s immigration laws as any other alien.”

The bill text isn’t available yet, but the congressman—who has separately sponsored measures to federally reschedule marijuana and protect benefits for military veterans who participate in medical cannabis programs—said the SPARE Act would give DHS 60 days to investigate any “credible” claims that an immigrant lied about illegally using a controlled substance as part of their application process and then deport them if the claim is verified.

“I introduced the SPARE Act because individuals should be deported immediately if they are caught lying on their visa application,” he said. “If the Executive Branch is granting waivers on the basis of drug usage to individuals who enter the U.S., that information should not be hidden from the public. We must ensure no one receives preferential treatment behind closed doors.”

While Prince Harry has admitted to previously experimenting with drugs for recreational use, he’s said that cannabis and psychedelics have helped him process trauma stemming from the loss of his mother Princess Diana. That’s also why many veterans use medical marijuana, which is part of the reason Steube has filed bills multiple times to protect their federal benefits if they do decide to try the alternative therapy.

The congressman’s new bill would also subject any DHS immigration waivers related to prior drug use subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so that the public could obtain those records. The conservative Heritage Foundation filed a FOIA request for Prince Harry’s visa application, but it was denied, as immigration records are generally exempt from the sunshine law. That led to a lawsuit against the federal agency.

It’s uncertain if Steube will actually focus on advancing the legislation this session or if it is purely a messaging tactic meant to appeal to conservatives who have taken issue with the progressive prince. (Full Story)

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