Medical Marijuana and the 2nd Amendment
Should medical marijuana patients have restricted access to guns?
Well, some states are trying to say so.
The right to bear arms is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans by the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
However, guidelines were issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms back in 2011 to halt the sale of firearms to anyone who is a medical marijuana patient.
The question remains- why?
Let’s take a quick look at the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, and whether medical marijuana patients should retain their right to bear arms!
What is the Issue with Medical Marijuana Patients Carrying Firearms?
Sadly, the literature in United States law is in place to block medical marijuana users from purchasing or carrying firearms.
According to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) no person
“who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” may “possess… or… receive any firearm or ammunition.” In addition, it is unlawful for “any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person… is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.”
As we see, the issue with medical marijuana patients and guns is that marijuana is still federally illegal.
Although states have the right to decide whether they want to allow medical marijuana use, the federal government has not yet fully ratified this.
Currently, marijuana is categorized to be a Schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin, crystal meth, cocaine, and other drugs which are known to have serious and life-threatening consequences.
If medical marijuana patients want to retain their 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms, they are going to have to push through this classification.
What Can Medical Marijuana Users Do to Obtain a Firearm?
In 2016 and 2017, court cases to defend the 2nd Amendment rights failed to change this issue.
However, that is not the end of the battle for medical marijuana users.
There is overwhelming research that alcohol use causes much more cognitive impairment than marijuana, which is strong ground that the medical marijuana community has to stand on.
Sadly, it is unlikely that marijuana will be removed as a Schedule 1 drug in the near future.
However, the perception of marijuana use is shifting.
More people are becoming uncomfortable with the fact that a raging alcoholic is allowed to walk down the street and by a gun, but someone who is registered to use medical marijuana (even if not using THC-containing medication) is not.
At this point, the decision is mostly in the hand of the courts.
Currently, the United States Congress is still fixated on the fact that “drug use raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Seeing as it is perfectly reasonable for a drunk to buy a gun to torment his family or neighbors, it is likely that this topic is discussed heavily as more states begin to adopt medical marijuana programs.
It is hard to imagine medical marijuana patients from all 50 states succumbing to this legislation, and there is promising ground to stand on going forward.
The foremost issue is that marijuana will need to be rescheduled for a “Class 1 drug” to make much movement on this issue in the future.
As advocates for responsible marijuana use are becoming more prominent and powerful, it is likely that medical marijuana patients will be granted their 2nd Amendment Rights again.