America is filled with some pretty insane laws in all honesty, but for medical cannabis smokers, this instance has to be one of the most absurd occurrences. Believe it or not, if you are a medical marijuana user and have been approved by your state’s Board of Health for a medical marijuana card, then you CAN’T own a gun. At least not legally.
But… if you smoke weed in a recreational state, walk into a firearms dealer, you can pick up a gun in less than 5 minutes, and in most cases, nothing will happen.
Although this may seem completely irrational and inconsistent, the reason for this discrepancy in laws is that there is no tracking system that registers recreational marijuana users, so unless you stroll into a gun shop holding a spliff, no gun dealer is going to give you any major hassle.
Now that is F##CKING crazy. In fact, the fact that guns are outlawed at all for consumers of a peaceful plant like marijuana is simply mad. Not only is this unfair, but it could also be deemed unconstitutional. You see, as per the United States Constitution, Amendment 2 states that all Americans have the right to buy and possess a gun, unless of course deemed unfit for mental reasons, etc.
Marijuana is not technically directly referenced, rather the term “controlled substances” is utilized, with laws expressing that anyone who is an unlawful user of these substances or is addicted to them will be denied access to any type of gun. Because cannabis is still illegal on a Federal level, it is automatically lumped together with the group “controlled substances,” even though it is arguably a very mild, all-natural substance with potentially very medicinal qualities.
This puts medical cannabis consumers in the tricky, touchy position of having to choose between their right to own a gun/protecting themselves and consuming marijuana. For some, marijuana is an extreme necessity.
It has literally changed the quality of life for certain people, and for that reason, a choice of this nature can be especially debilitating, especially for those who regularly rely on cannabis for medical purposes.
Take for instance an individual that lives far outside the city and must have a rifle available in case bears show up on the property or unwelcome animals/visitors. If this person happened to also consume cannabis and possess a medical marijuana card, they’d by law be denied access to that gun. Instead, they’d be put in the tricky position of having to tiptoe around the law,
At the time of this update, medical marijuana is currently legal in 33 states, 11 states are currently recreational, and 17 states still have no board laws legalizing marijuana. In some of those particular states, medical marijuana approvals are given only under certain circumstances, so be it that specific medical conditions are met. States like Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, maintain laws permitting medical marijuana (which is actually CBD oil or cannabis oil) for severe epileptic conditions.
The real issue about this inconsistency? The major problem is the discrepancy between what a state may permit and what the federal government has outlawed. This is causing serious problems for gun dealers, and those that suffer from medical conditions and smoke cannabis. It is literally taking away their right to bear arms and is causing a lot of confusion.
As it stands for many cannabis-related laws, there’s a grave lack of communication between State and Federal lawmakers, and for this reason, the two entities often do not cooperate or agree on the same issues. The biggest example of this is how cannabis is legal in some states on a recreational level, but Federally it continues to maintain an illegal status throughout the entirety of the United States.
That means that technically if the Federal government wanted to push the fight against cannabis, they’d have the lawful right to shut down all state-run legal recreational pot shops, as well as prosecute the employees and individuals involved in these operations. The changes of the Feds doing such a thing just isn’t reasonable, however, because there are far too many state-run recreational cannabis dispensaries for them to abolish.
Understanding Medical Marijuana Users’ Rights: Who Claims What?
The Federal Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has long had an existing ban on gun sales to anyone who uses marijuana.
Not only that, they are constantly reminding business owners and buyers that marijuana is still considered federally illegal despite state laws allowing medical marijuana or recreational use.
Medical marijuana has been legalized by eight of the nine states covered by the 9th Circuit ruling — with recreational marijuana also being legal in Alaska, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon. But the federal government still outlaws pot as a Schedule I controlled substance.
To cut a long story short, the ATF simply doesn’t want gun sellers selling firearms to marijuana smokers and they call the shots. Local laws are forced to comply according to these laws.
Some examples of this injustice in action: Back in 2015, several patients received letters in Illinois from the state police telling them their firearms cards were being revoked. In 2011 a Nevada medical marijuana patient named S.Rowan Wilson was declined the right to purchase a gun as the seller was aware of customer’s medical status. Although these are just two examples, these circumstances extend far beyond this pair of cases.
Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Guns
The difference between State and Federal laws are constantly causing confusion. From the legal status of cannabis to the rights of those that consume it or need it for medical purposes, it is pretty hard to see any points where the State and Federal governments are in agreement with one another.
Furthermore, politicians and local lawmakers that are pro-marijuana are often forced to comply with laws that do not necessarily match their beliefs. This is happening on numerous occasions when cannabis is involved.
Federal laws may prohibit medical marijuana cardholders from obtaining a gun, but if recreational users can easily bear arms, why restrict those with medical conditions.
Where is the logic in that?