USCIS Makes Clear: Controlled Substance–Related Activity is Conditional Bar to Good Moral Character Determinations for Naturalization Purposes

USCIS has issued guidance to clarify that violation of federal controlled-substance law established by a conviction or admission, including for marijuana, remains a conditional bar to establishing good moral character (GMC) for naturalization, even where that conduct would not be a state law offense. Moreover, an applicant who is involved in certain marijuana related activities — such as working at a marijuana dispensary — may lack GMC if found to have violated federal law, even if such activity is not unlawful under applicable state or foreign laws.