The Justice Department is in high gear cracking down on distribution of firearms to medical marihuana users.
In a threat they call “open letter” to All Federal Firearms Licensees dated September 21, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives fires a directive that says pursuant to Federal law, they will prosecute medical marihuana users and those that sell to them if they attempt to purchase firearms.
ATF argues that all users of medical marihuana are addicted and therefore barred from purchasing firearms; and in any event, whether legally prescribed or not, the drug is characterized by the Federal Drug Administration as a controlled substance, making it illegal to be under the influence and purchase a firearm in the first place.
ATF Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services, Arthur Herbert, in his letter states (in part):
“As you know, Federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (3), prohibits any person who is an ‘unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance’ from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition…it is also 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 a controlled substance.”
ATF is attempting to be judge and jury; circumvent the Courts, State laws, and the People in order to satisfy an anti-firearm Justice Department.
Realize ATF wants to dictate that legal marihuana users and those that sell firearms to them are operating illegally and are basing its directive on a characterization made by the FDA.
This is coming from a federal government that does not recognize marihuana as a legal medicine, whereas in certain parts of the Nation the People say it is. The Justice Department sure is quick to pursue gun control for medical marihuana users, when there is no evidence to indicate a quick fix is necessary.
Is it r-e-a-l-l-y ATF’s job to determine that every user is addicted, or should ATF officials concentrate on uncovering the details of a failed Operation Fast and Furious program that led to the death of two of their own?
Or is this crackdown in lock step with a federal effort to exercise control of private sale and use of medical marihuana? In another threat, see excerpt from Justice Department memo, dated June 29:
“There has been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes. For example, within the past 12 months, several jurisdictions have considered or enacted legislation to authorize large-scale, privately-operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers…Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law.”
To say this is an example of an overreaching federal government in not enough. This is a federal government gone wild (believe me!). Take guns away from the pot smokers–who is next? Everyone and anyone: just ask the Obama Justice Department who would like to disarm us all.
Whether we personally believe pot smoking is counterproductive is irrelevant. What matters is that the Second Amendment is not intended to ask innocent Americans to choose between medicine and gun rights.