Canadian rock legend Neil Young says he wants to become a U.S. citizen and vote in the 2020 U.S. election but the government has put a roadblock in his path.
In a statement posted on his Neil Young Archives website on November 8, Young says: "I want to be a dual citizen and vote. 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. 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."
The "problem", Young wrote, is that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy states that "an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana-related activities may lack GMC (Good Moral Character) if found to have violated federal law".
Young followed up with: "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)."
He then hinted that he might leave the country until the matter is settled: "I will keep you posted, but I don't think I will be able to remain parked here during the proceedings."
Young criticized Trump in 2015 when the businessman used his 1989 song "Rockin' in the Free World" during the kickoff of his presidential campaign.
A year ago, in November 2018, Young wrote on his website: “DT does not have my permission to use the song ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ at his appearances. Legally, he has the right to, however it goes against my wishes.”
“I asked him then [in 2015], in a widely shared, public letter to cease and desist. However, he chose not to listen to my request, just as he chooses not to listen to the many American voices who ask him to stop his constant lies, to stop his petty, nasty name calling and bullying, to stop pushing his dangerous, vilifying and hateful rhetoric.”
The singer-songwriter, who moved to the U.S. in the mid-1960s, also criticized Trump last November after the president blasted California's handling of disastrous wildfires that destroyed Young's home. Trump accused the state of "gross mismanagement of the forests", but Young responded on his website: “California is vulnerable—not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think. We are vulnerable because of climate change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.”
Young went on to write: "“Imagine a leader who defies science, saying these solutions shouldn’t be part of his decision-making on our behalf. Imagine a leader who cares more for his own, convenient option than he does for the people he leads. Imagine an unfit leader. Now imagine a fit one.”
Former bandmate David Crosby (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), upon hearing the news of Young's citizenship-application troubles, tweeted: