Canadian-born rocker Neil Young is now officially a U.S. citizen, some five decades after he first moved to the country to pursue his music career, CNN reports. The newly-minted “Canarican” says that he became a U.S. citizen specifically so he could vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Young was born in Toronto in 1945, but by the 1960s, he had decided that his future in the music industry would be brighter if he was based out of L.A. rather than Toronto. It turned out to be the right move, as he was soon recording with the likes of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Still, for over five decades, Young was content to be a Canadian living in America. Things started to change for Young, who has consistently been outspoken about politics and social issues both in his music and in his personal life, a few months ago, after his home was destroyed in the California wildfires. He said at the time that the fires could be at least partially blamed on climate change, and he took exception to President Donald Trump’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge the reality of global warming.
“It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader,” he said at the time.
He decided at the time that he would become an American citizen, specifically so he could vote, and more specifically so he could vote against Donald Trump.
The process for becoming an American citizen can be an arduous one, but Young says that his took longer than it should have. He says that he passed his first citizenship test back in November, but that he was denied because he wasn’t sufficiently of “Good Moral Character,” he claims.
That lack of moral character stems from his love of marijuana, he claims. Put succinctly, Young claims that his citizenship application was delayed because he smokes weed.
Of course, no one knows why Young’s first citizenship application was denied except himself and U.S. immigration authorities. However, there is language in federal immigration policy that addresses the applicants’ marijuana usage.
“An applicant who is involved in certain marijuana related activities may lack GMC (Good Moral Character) if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity is not unlawful under applicable state or foreign laws,” the language says.
Though legal at the state level in California, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
As for Young, the now dual American-Canadian citizen is encouraging his fans to register and vote — and to vote Democrat, specifically.