Medical marijuana proponents are thrilled to see the number of states embracing the plant as medicine. They view it as an expansion of liberty in each state that adopts its usage. However, it remains illegal under federal law, and while Uncle Sam may not be cracking down on the dispensaries, but there are things they can do to remind many of its status, like pointing out how medical marijuana use makes on ineligible to own firearms.
In the state of Ohio, many who are embracing medical pot are learning they lose a little something in the process.
People who register with the state of Ohio to legally use medical marijuana will be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, according to guidance released by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
In an open letter to federally licensed firearms dealers, the ATF advised in 2011 that marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law so any use of the drug is unlawful, and gun dealers are prohibited from providing guns or ammo to anyone they have cause to believe uses pot.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such is sanctioned by state law,” the memo says.
The law applies to more than just buying guns. The ATF letter says marijuana users are prohibited from “shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.”
Anyone applying to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer must sign a form attesting he or she is not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”
The Form 4473 contains a note at the bottom reminding gun buyers of this fact, which makes it difficult for anyone to mount an effective defense of “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t know!”
That means anyone on medical marijuana will be committing perjury if they say they’re not on any illegal drugs.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, however, considering recent acts by the Honolulu Police Department. By now, one would think this would be common enough knowledge in the firearm community, but a lot of gun owners don’t really follow gun news for whatever reason and may have missed this.
Regardless of where people stand on medical marijuana in these states, this is something that people need to consider before backing such legislation. After all, what is the point of gaining what you believe to be a freedom, only to lose another? How is that a win for you?
To be clear, the courts have supported BATFE’s 2011 letter. While it may eventually get before the Supreme Court and be overturned, that won’t happen today and it won’t happen for quite some time. In the meantime, this is the law, and if you want your medical marijuana, you have to give up your guns.
Personally, I’ll pass. I’d rather be able to protect my family and others than to light up and get high.