Immigrants who work in the legal cannabis industry have faced uncertainty over citizenship since the guidance was issued in April
Ten senators have called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent the implementation of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Marijuana Moment reports. They have also provided information advising that officials consider cannabis use and/or related activities as an aspect of the “good moral character” requirement to gain citizenship.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Democratic Senators Ron Wyden, Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren, Jacky Rosen, Jeff Merkley, Amy Klobuchar, Catherine Cortez Masto, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris argued that the advice “ignores the will of Americans across the country.”
“These inconsistencies between federal and state cannabis laws are confusing for patients, businesses and other individuals to navigate,” the letter states. “We strongly believe that such gaps in policy should not be exploited to penalize otherwise law-abiding legal permanent residents who seek to naturalize.”
The senators note that even though “more than 30 states and territories have legalized some form of cannabis,” the drug remains illegal under federal law and classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the DEA.
“Federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does,” USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins told CBS News.
Immigrants who work in the legal cannabis industry have faced uncertainty over citizenship since the guidance was issued in April, with senators declaring that “this mean-spirited change in guidance would prevent, for example, patients who use cannabis for medical conditions from ever actualizing their dream of becoming an American citizen.
“State-legal cannabis businesses have created over 200,000 jobs across the country and its continued expansion generates new employment opportunities for many Americans every day.”
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