Got a state medical marijuana card? You've just given the government an excuse to come for your guns.

Isn’t it lovely when state laws and federal laws collide, and law enforcement then picks and chooses which conflicting laws to enforce?

A Richland medical marijuana patient recently applied for a Concealed Pistol License, but was denied by police.

Medical marijuana is legal under Washington state law, but the federal government won’t make an exception for that when it comes to getting a Concealed Pistol License.

Richland police sent the medical marijuana patient a letter stating that federal law prohibits anyone who uses a controlled substance from “shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.”

And even if marijuana is legal here, it’s still illegal at the federal level.

When anyone applies for a concealed weapons permit with Richland police, they have to follow these federal restrictions.


This localized incident exposes a much bigger potential legal problem for all gun owners who also have a medical marijuana card, in any jurisdiction. The Richland police cited federal law that denies users of controlled substances the right to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition in denying this woman her carry permit.


Law enforcement agencies could just as easily use the same federal statute to completely deny the Second Amendment rights of all medical marijuana card users in Washington and Colorado, or anywhere else where these cards as distributed.

All it would take is for the federal government to obtain a copy of the medical marijuana card databases in those areas that have such databases, and then start sending out federal agents to collect the guns of those who are listed. A model for this effort is California’s use of agents to confiscation guns of people identified by the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) system.

I’d advise gun owners to avoid medical marijuana cards at all costs. While there is no indication that there is an immediate plan to use these conflicting laws against gun owners, that could easily change overnight, especially under a federal government that never lets a good crisis go to waste.


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