Working in Colorado’s marijuana industry could prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen. A new bill in Washington could change that.
Earlier this year, Denver resident Oswaldo Barrientos was barred from becoming a U.S. citizen because of his work in Colorado’s legal cannabis industry, despite a perfectly clean record.
But a bi-partisan bill introduced in Washington this week could make it possible for those like Barrientos to clear that final hurdle.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, joined forces with an unlikely partner in Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, to introduce legislation that would remove participation in the legal cannabis industry from the list of activities that automatically bar naturalization. It comes months after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock pressed the Trump administration to rethink its citizenship policies, which issued guidance in April that anyone working in the marijuana industry — even in states where it is legal — could be barred from becoming a citizen because they “lacked good moral character.”
Immigration attorneys said the proposed bill, while not perfect, could potentially impact hundreds of Coloradans, and thousands of others across the country working in the budding world of marijuana, which remains illegal at the federal level.
Read more via The Denver Post