Medical Marijuana Users Forced to Choose Between Marijuana and their Second Amendment Rights

It’s little secret at this point that many in power will use any loophole at their disposal to go after the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. In the latest attack on gun rights, though, the ATF is now prohibiting users of medical marijuana from buying and owning firearms.

In recent years, the push to legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use has gained a lot of momentum. Currently, marijuana is legal for medicinal use in 29 states plus the District of Columbia and is legal for recreational use in 7 states plus D.C. However, marijuana use is still illegal in all states under federal law, which creates the complicated legal situation the ATF is leveraging to restrict Second Amendment rights.

New to the background check firearms dealers must conduct is the question of whether the person intending to buy a firearm uses marijuana. Answer yes, and it becomes illegal for them to sell you a gun. Not only this, but some states such as Hawaii and Pennsylvania actually require medical marijuana cardholders to turn over the firearms they already possess.

Pennsylvania state police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski said, “It’s unlawful to keep possession of firearms obtained prior to registering. The Pennsylvania State Police is not in the business of offering legal advice, but it might be a good idea to contact an attorney about how best to dispose of their firearms.”

All of this brings us to the question of whether or not there is any legitimate reason why marijuana users in states where it is legal should be restricted from owning a firearm – the answer to which is a resounding no. Regardless of where you stand on the legalization of marijuana, it is ridiculous to suggest that marijuana users pose a significant enough risk to warrant restricting their Second Amendment rights. There is no such law on the books for those who consume alcohol or for those who have been prescribed medication with mind-altering side-effects. While marijuana use may lead to poor decision making, it certainly doesn’t turn its users into violent killers whose firearms need to be confiscated.

The legal justification of stripping marijuana users of their gun rights is on even shakier ground than the logical justification. The closest you could come to justifying denial of marijuana users to the right to buy a firearm from a legal standpoint is to equate them with convicted felons, who as we all know are not legally allowed to buy and own firearms. Yet medical marijuana cardholders have not been convicted of any crime, and even if they were convicted at the federal level it would likely only result in a misdemeanor conviction rather than a felony conviction.

For those who are against the legalization of marijuana, it may be difficult to feel the same indignation against the ATF restricting marijuana users from buying firearms as is often felt towards other attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights. Yet the fact still remains that this law is nothing more than a thinly veiled and poorly justified attempt to slowly encroach on the rights of the American gun owner, and it should be met with the same fiery passion from Second Amendment supporters that all gun rights issues are.

Unfortunately, there seem to be few catalysts in place that could change this law. Overturning the ATF’s stance on marijuana use and gun ownership would likely require legislation from Congress, yet thus far Congress has shown an unwillingness to touch the marijuana issue one way or another. No moves have been made to legalize it in federal law, nor have any moves been made to crack down on the states that have made it legal under state law.

Until something is done, medical marijuana users must choose between marijuana and their Second Amendment rights. For avid proponents of the Second Amendment, the choice may seem clear, but for those who truly believe that marijuana is helping their condition and improving their quality of life, the choice becomes far more difficult. This is unfortunate seeing as the choice between marijuana use in a state where it is legal and gun ownership shouldn’t have to be a choice at all.

To be sure, a situation where the federal government can revoke Second Amendment rights based on an individual’s personal choices with little to no logical or legal justification is a very concerning situation indeed and one that is deserving of our full attention.

~ American Gun News

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29 Responses

  1. What a sneaky and clever ruse. Didn’t see that coming did you junk heads?

  2. Don’t blame the Pa. State Police. They have no desire to mess with this. Blame the simple minded legislators that made in legal in the state to use marijuana. PSP and most LEO’s would just as soon look at pictures of Hilary Clinton or Rosie O’Donnell in a bikini as enforce this. (YUK)

  3. Gentlemen, as a retired MD, I must disagree. I am an avid gun owner and believe in the 2nd Amendment, BUT,…..for those using marijuana for any reason, I do not think it safe to have such individuals owning/using firearms. I may differ from you, but I believe in owning a firearm to use. If someone needs medical marijuana, they use it on a regular basis. They are not to operate any type of vehicle, any more than if they take a prescription pain med. Medical marijuana use is considered for “chronic pain” use, meaning people use it on a regular basis because of pain they have all the time. This is different from taking a pain med for a few days after some surgery. I’m of the opinion that guns should be treated like automobile use. Owning a car is one thing, using it under the influence (whether a pain med or marijuana) is against common sense and the rights of others. And, I feel the more we fight to have guns at any cost and under any condition, then the Left will have ample rational reason to start infringing on honest, clear-headed users. Just like the guy who says, “Oh, I didn’t drink to much” and then gets arrested on his drive home after an accident, so will us gun owners face the same dilemma if a firearm is used and there’s an accident…..that will be used against the gun community. Remember, there still is NO test police can use to test the functionality of a marijuana user, like they have with the BreathAlyzer system. I think we should be holding off using marijuana, use another pain regimen, and demand the government develop a bonafide test to determine the ability of a marijuana user to function…..just like a “drinker”. But, I’m afraid the government has a decent case for disallowing gun ownership for chronic marijuana users, as there is no way to assure “when” the patient is lucent or not. If mentally handicapped people should NOT be sold guns,…then what’s the difference between them and the chronic marijuana user who takes it for his chronic pain? I’ve long been a believer that medical marijuana use is more of a cover for recreational users that want to smoke it “legally”. Every one of my major pain patients were unable to to functional sufficiently to even get around the house and do ADLs (activities of daily living) even fairly well, let alone own or use guns. So, in the end, I’m against chronic marijuana users having guns, anymore than mentally handicapped patients both of which have chronic, long-term problems. For the “occasional users” who argue against turning is there guns, I find a simple solution – Don’t smoke marijuana so you don’t have to turn in your guns. That’s my “humble opinion”.

    1. They have a test in this state and if they want to pass a law like this then the list will grow and drinkers and people who are on drugs for pain the list goes on and on. So I think your wrong on some of your post but everyone has their opinion like I have mine.

      1. Marijuana is still illegal. The Fed’s are now going after those laws that have legalized recreational pot. The Atty General made the announcement yesterday. I have to agree with Dr. Myth. There are times to be reasonable about some of this.

    2. They can not develop a valid test for pot because it stays in the system longer than alcohol or pain meds. You as a doctor should know this. It has not been proven that those who smoke pot pose any threat to society other than depleting their local convenience store of munchies!

    3. This whole gun thing has gotten out of hand. It wasn’t until the gun act of 1968 that made it a law so people with felonies could not own a firearm. Part of that act was the restoration act. Since they do not fund this, the ATF does not accept people with a felony to apply for there gun rights to be restored. This law itself is illegal because the Right to Bear Arms cannot be infringed. This is a right and not a privilege like driving a car. If it were not for plea bargains, there would be millions more people with felonies. If you read North Carolina vs. Pierce, you would agree that taking your gun rights away after being convicted of a felony is unconstitutional. In Maryland, they now do not consider marijuana a crime under a certain amount, they only give you a citation so they can make money still. All states are looking for reasons for owning a gun. Now some misdemeanors keep you from buying a gun as well as domestic violence cases. Marijuana possession is still a federal law, so when the states start allowing marijuana, they are breaking federal law and once the law makers break the law,, there is no law. So the state can break the federal law and still own guns but what about people with non violent felonies? So if a police officer does not at least charge a person with a crime when they find people having marijuana, he is violating the law as well. It is still a federal law. As the Police would say to you, ignorance of the law is no exception. As far as I am concerned, they should ban Alcohol. There is no doubt it is a drug and no doubt it kills a lot of people, but the only reason they don’t is because all the Senators and congressman etc. drink! as well as Police. People drink and drive everyday, and it is an accident waiting to happen. They make you wear a seat belt, but ban cell phones etc. I don’t drink or use marijuana, so I feel if marijuana is bad, so is alcohol if not more.
      Let the feds go arrest all the law makers for conspiring to break federal laws.

  4. How long will we be held hostage from the ATF once pot is legal they loose all the money they get each year to go after and use to help arrest drug and pot users. They do not what to lose their money so they will do what ever they can to take up what they can while they can kinda like use every disaster to there ability.

  5. Confiscation of firearms without just cause is against the law. The law also applies to law enforcement personnel. Let every combat veteran stand shoulder to shoulder to defend the second amendment rights.

    1. Seems to me that LEO are doing the correct thing….for now. As long as MJ is not legal at the Federal level then they are Right.
      Look at the ATF Form 4473 …..

  6. Then what’s next,those on prescription drugs? What about those who drink?

  7. I’m confused … I thought most of the stonies were Leftists and they were against guns. What’s the big deal?

  8. I would have liked to share this article on Facebook but the share tab will not work. This is not the first time as every article I try to share to my friends is the same. Either fix your share tab or find another way to share. I really do not care to have to try to copy and paste articles (have not tried that either) buyt

  9. Any reason will do for liberals to kill the second amendment. Whether it be the Cuomo S.A.F.E. act that confiscates ALL your guns for just not registering on time or just someone using medical marijuana for pain, they will find a way!
    Next on the agenda??? How about losing your guns if you have unpaid traffic tickets? Sure they will think of more–God help us!

  10. While I am not in favor of legal recreational marijuana, as a former deputy sheriff, I have experienced the difference between someone who is high and someone who is drunk. The drunk is almost always more combative than the marijuana user. The feds should allow medical marijuana to be treated as any other prescription drug, especially as it has been shown that supervised use of medical marijuana can carry less risk and fewer adverse side effects than some commonly prescribed medications currently in use. That being said until the law changes, it is still a violation of federal law and understandably an exclusion to purchase. However I think the government is way out of line for saying that you can not possess firearms that you have previously legally purchased.

  11. Anybody who gives up there guns are stupid, when when the shit hits the fan you are screwed, that is takeover time

  12. When or if the Feds go affer drinkers and the like to take guns away, THAT is when you fight!

  13. While many firearm owners use their guns at the range, in competition, for hunting, etc, other owners(especially those with chronic pain – enough that it keeps them from normal life) may keep their firearms as heirlooms-to pass on to underage family members when they are old enough or may keep their firearms for the reason most do, for protection of self and household.
    Who is more vulnerable than someone in chronic pain? These people need to be able to protect themselves from criminals. The reason I stopped smoking and keeping marijuana around 40 years ago was because there are people that will use a gun to steal $10 worth of marijuana – I felt it wasn’t worth it.
    There are people that search out those in chronic pain that may have prescriptions to Oxycotin or other narcotics. A follow home home robbery from the pain clinic does happen every day in this country.

  14. I was offered medical marijuana which did not contain THC the ingredient that gets one high.The offer was from a pain clinic that I have been using for about 12 years, The offer came after my state legalized marijuana use, I was surprised to find that my use of a non THC chemical that could not get anyone high was still breaking federal law. It was obvious to me that laws purpose stepped beyond banning those influenced by this drug to alter their ability to perform in a sober manner. It was however meant to control the licensing harvesting and dispensing a substance for profit to others than the Federal government.
    If I would have excepted my states legal offer to use non THC marijuana dispensed by a licensed state hospital I would in effect begin a legal paper trail which could be easily used to convict me of a federal crime or take away my 2nd amendment rights. The law would obviously do the same to those using marijuana which did contain THC. I did not accept my pain clinics offer of non THC state legal marijuana as I have no interest in becoming a criminal neither do I have any interest in using any substance that will alter my natural state of awareness. I prefer living life on life’s terms and growing from the experience
    I am not attempting. to change others moral values. I am attempting to educate others to the legal implications of using state legalized marijuana containing THC or not as you are jeopardizing your 2nd amendment rights and creating a self-signed legal record which states that you are breaking Federal law.
    There is no way I would fall for this obvious (to me) trap.

    Vincent Valentino

  15. Funny none of the other “Bill of rights” are being taken away or threatened. Lord knows you cannot stop news types from flapping their lips and spewing what ever is on their small minds.

  16. This is very sad, it just go’s to show you how the government will twist and turn things around to get there way regardless of weather it’s the right thing to do or not. Marijuana doe’s not make people do things that they normally wouldn’t do like alcohol and some prescription medications can do. I guess if an intruder brakes in to a man’s home and he protects his family by shooting him he may get charged with murder because they found Marijuana in his system, I know that sounds crazy but nothing the government doe’s anymore surprises me and like I said It’s so very, very sad.

  17. To quote what my Granddaddy would have told them if he were to have been faced with such a choice: I would tell them to “Go to Hell and Kiss My Ass” while having my shotgun ready for use. In the South we don’t take kindly to this kind of government bullying and extortion to what this issue amounts to.

  18. People that have shot people in a movie theater or shooting sprees in schools elsewhere had Psychiatric problems of delusion, a state of mind in wanting to hurt them self’s and others 99% of the time Did and do have a marijuana habit , AND ARE IDENTIFIED AS AND CALL STONERS , SHOULD NEVER ALLOWED TO HAVE A DRIVER’S LICENSE THAT ARE STILL KILLING FAMILY’S ON THE STREETS AND HIGHWAYS TODAY , THE GUN OWNERS THAT LIKES TO BE A STONER SHOULD BE STOPPED LIKEWISE FROM HAVING A LICENSE FROM OWNING AND SHOOTING A GUN…

  19. I Read a lot of interesting comments and remembered that George Washington had a Hemp Farm as well as motst of the founding fathers I want to be able to survive a crisis and defend our country I will never give up Safty to a bunch of old hacks our founders would be Pissed at our Politicians Today

  20. A lot of the hemp at that time was used for clothes, rope and that kind of thing. Not saying they didn’t smoke it but still I bet they are turning in their graves with all the BS going on in the world today

  21. Anyone can buy a car, but with that purchase come a responsibility to follow the laws of the state or place you live. Also driving is a privilege not a right. Owning a gun is a right guaranteed to us by the constitution. So if you purchase a gun then you need to follow the rules of the state in which you live. These rules vary from state to state. Some states have the stand your ground rule which gives you permission to shoot a person if you feel your life is being threatened, others like california are stupid and clearly an attempt to take away your right. simple answer is follow the rules of where you live , if you do not like them then lobby to have them changed or move to a place that is more suitable to your beliefs. We should not have to sacrifice our right s in order to follow the laws created to take our rights away. Most legal gun owners are the most law abiding citizens we have. They respect the right to self defense and go out of their way to have their guns in top notch shape, and are well aware to never handle a gun under the influence. Why is there such a left wing movement to make law abiding citizens criminals? The anti-gun folks will do anything to make us powerless to defend our families. It is wrong and also against the constitution.. Criminals are the ones we need to fear, those that buy illegally and use the gun for illegal purposes. Lets leave the law abiding citizens alone. It seems to me that anti-gun people believe that just owning a gun legally somehow make you likely to become a criminal and to break every law you can with you gun. The fact is this is just not true. We are a misguided country where the non citizens receive more rights then the citizens. I cannot think of a better reason to have a weapon for self protection then this fact alone.

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