After decades in the U.S., Canadian rock legend Neil Young announced this week that he has finally received his American citizenship following lengthy delays and many hiccups, believed to be linked to his cannabis consumption.
“I’m happy to report I’m in!! Vote your conscience,” the famed musician wrote in an Instagram caption of himself standing next to an American flag and sign saying “Democrats register to vote here.”
Although born in Toronto, the member of notable bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse has lived in the U.S. since the 1960s.
“I’m proud to be a Canarican,” Young sang in a video embedded in another celebratory Instagram post while waving tiny Canadian and American flags.
The 78-year-old, who is married to actress and activist Darryl Hannah, has previously mentioned that his drive to become a U.S. citizen was partially fuelled by concerns over the current U.S. political climate. He cited a desire to “vote my conscience on Donald J. Trump and his fellow American candidates,” and the fact that “we’ve got a climate emergency and governments are not acting” as primary reasons for the change.
But Young faced problems acquiring his citizenship, which the singer-songwriter wrote on his website was primarily thanks to his cannabis consumption.
“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 wrote late last year.
“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,” he noted.
Young is just one of many Canadians who has experienced issues with the U.S. as a result of cannabis consumption. Although the drug is legal for medical and/or adult use in many states, it remains federally prohibited due to its categorization by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I substance.
Written by Emma Spears