The issue of medical marijuana and gun rights has been in the news a lot lately, especially since a federal appeals court upheld a ban on gun sales to those who legally use medical cannabis late last summer.
Since marijuana is a banned substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, it was ruled that anyone with a medical marijuana card was admitting to the use of cannabis for medical reasons and therefore breaking federal law and therefore lost their right to purchase a firearm.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law,” said a guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent to gun dealers around the country.
A U.S. Senator recently weighed in on the controversy as well when she noticed the form she has to fill out to get a firearm in her home state of Alaska – where marijuana is legal for any reason – included a question about medical marijuana use.
“I don’t like marijuana—I voted against legalization—but we passed it,” Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) said in an interview. “Now, you’ve got this conflict.”
A conflict indeed. Medical marijuana patients are being denied their 2nd Amendment rights without a trial or investigation of any kind.
“This idea that you somehow waive your Second Amendment rights if you smoke marijuana” is wrong, said Keith Stroup, founder of the pro-legalization group NORML. “In particular, if you are using marijuana as a medicine, the idea that you have to choose between your health and the Second Amendment is offensive.”
And yet here we are. With the GOP currently controlling every aspect of the federal government, one has to wonder whether the party that has championed gun rights for so long will have anything to say in defense of those patients who are having their 2nd Amendment rights stripped.
I won’t hold my breath.