One requirement for immigrants to naturalize and receive U.S. citizenship is that they affirmatively demonstrate “good moral character.” America’s nanny staters have decided that consuming marijuana in any form is, well, immoral. The Trump administration decided this week to clarify further that it is still immoral to use, share, sell, or manufacture marijuana that is legal at the state level. The updated guidance states:
An applicant cannot establish good moral character (GMC) if he or she has violated any controlled substance‐related federal or state law or regulation of the United States or law or regulation of any foreign country during the statutory period.… Classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law means that certain conduct involving marijuana, which is in violation of the CSA, continues to constitute a conditional bar to GMC for naturalization eligibility, even where such activity is not a criminal offense under state law.
For example, possession of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes or employment in the marijuana industry may constitute conduct that violates federal controlled substance laws. Depending on the specific facts of the case, these activities, whether established by a conviction or an admission by the applicant, may preclude a finding of GMC for the applicant during the statutory period.
The new guidance goes even further:
Note that even if an applicant does not have a conviction or make a valid admission to a marijuana‐related offense, he or she may be unable to meet the burden of proof to show that he or she has not committed such an offense.
In other words, even if an immigrant attempting to become an American has never been convicted of using marijuana and won’t admit doing so, they could still be denied U.S. citizenship. It is important, you understand, that immigrants learn about American traditions. Obviously, those traditions do not include smoking marijuana — despite one of the highest use rates in the world — while they do include Kafka‐esque bureaucracy.