Neil Young: US citizenship delayed 'due to my use of marijuana'
© Getty Images

Neil Young says his American citizenship application has been held up because he's a marijuana user.

"I want to be a dual citizen and vote," the "Old Man" and "Rockin' in the Free World" musician, who was born in Canada, wrote in a recent post on his website.

ADVERTISEMENT

"When I recently applied for American citizenship, I passed the test. It was a conversation where I was asked many questions. I answered them truthfully and passed," Young, 73, told his fans. "Recently however, 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."

Young cited policy guidance issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in April. The guidance stated that "violations of federal controlled substance law, including violations involving marijuana, are generally a bar to establishing good moral character for naturalization, even where that conduct would not be an offense under state law."  

An applicant, USCIS said, "who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack good moral character if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws."

A USCIS spokesperson said that due to privacy protections, the agency could not discuss, confirm or deny information about a specific individual's immigration status. The spokesperson pointed ITK to a statement saying USCIS is "required to adjudicate cases based on federal law. Individuals who commit federal controlled substance violations face potential immigration consequences under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which applies to all foreign nationals regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they reside.”

"I sincerely hope I have exhibited good moral character and will be able to vote my conscience on Donald J. Trump and his fellow American candidates, (as yet un-named)," Young wrote on his website.

While promising to keep his fans posted, Young said, "I don't think I will be able to remain parked here during the proceedings."

Young, a longtime California resident, expressed a desire to vote in U.S. elections in a 2005 interview "because I feel like I've got just as much right to vote in them as anybody else."

"I've lived here for so long, paid taxes for so long and my kids have to register for selective service," Young told Time.

—Updated at 8:30 p.m.