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Neil Young: US Citizenship Held Up Over Marijuana Use

Neil Young performs during the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London in July
Neil Young performs during the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London in July. (Isabel Infantes/AP)

By    |   Monday, 11 November 2019 03:40 PM

Neil Young alleges his U.S. citizenship application is being held up because the Canadian singer-songwriter uses marijuana.

"When I recently applied for American citizenship, I passed the test," Young, 73, said in a statement Friday on his website. "It was a conversation where I was asked many questions. I answered them truthfully and passed.

"Recently however," he continued, "I have been told that I must do another test, due to my use of marijuana and how some people who smoke it have exhibited a problem."

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in guidance issued in April that an applicant found to have violated federal law on marijuana and other controlled substances could be found to lack "good moral character," general requirement for naturalization, CNN reported Monday.

The policy, which stemmed from actions last year by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, applies regardless of state or local laws on marijuana use.

Citing privacy issues, USCIS told CNN Monday that it could not comment on the status of Young's application had.

However, the agency must judge cases based on federal law, a representative said.

"Individuals who commit federal controlled substance violations face potential immigration consequences under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which applies to all foreign nationals regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they reside," the agency said in a statement.

"Marijuana remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance regardless of any actions to decriminalize its possession, use, or sale at the state and local level," the statement said. "Federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does."

The Obama administration did not interfere with state laws that allowed marijuana use, but Sessions rescinded that policy last year, CNN reports.

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Because the Canadian singer-songwriter uses marijuana, Neil Young alleges his U.S. citizenship application is being held up.
neil young, marijuana, pot, citizenship, canadian, singer, music
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2019-40-11
Monday, 11 November 2019 03:40 PM
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