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Prince Harry's drug use could threaten his US visa, lawyer says
22 March 2023, 14:56
Prince Harry's admission of taking cocaine, cannabis and magic mushrooms in his memoir could threaten his US visa a lawyer says as "there's no exception for royalty".
The Duke of Sussex spoke of taking the various drugs in his memoir, 'Spare', published earlier this year and is now facing calls to release his US visa application to cross-check whether he declared his drug use history.
A DC based conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, said the details of the Duke's US visa application should be released, claiming the the American taxpayer has a right to know whether he was "properly vetted" during the process.
Typically, admission to drug use is grounds for throwing out a US visa application, experts have said.
Mike Howell, director of Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, told the Daily Mail: "This request is in the public interest in light of the potential revocation of Prince Harry's visa for illicit substance use and further questions regarding the Prince's drug use and whether he was properly vetted before entering the United States".
Concerns have also been expressed by the conservative think tank that even if officials were aware of Harry's drug use, this could indicate he was given special treatment during the application process.
A US State Department spokesman, however, has said that releasing such details would go against confidentiality requirements.
The spokesman said: "Visa records are confidential under Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases".
If the Duke failed to declare his drug history on the application, there are harsh penalties for lying on a visa application. Some have suggested it could result in the prince being barred from applying for US citizenship or even deported from the country.
Prince Harry opened up in his memoir about his use of various substances over the years, including how he first took cocaine at the age of 17, and how marijuana and mushrooms helped him through past trauma.
The recreational use of marijuana is legal in his residential state, California, which is also working to decriminalise psychedelics.
Harry emigrated to California with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020, where he has lived since, and it is also where his daughter Lilibet was born.
The Duke's representatives are yet to comment on the claims being made.