GOP Lawmaker's Bill Would Protect Medical Pot User's Gun Rights

AP Photo/Jim Mone, File

The legalization of marijuana is an interesting issue right now. Federally, it’s considered an illegal drug, something you aren’t supposed to get even with a prescription. The reality is a bit murkier. Many states have legalized it for medical use, and some have gone so far as to approve it for recreational use.

However, gun owners have been caught in a tough spot in this whole thing. You see, some states have required licensed gun owners to give up their guns due to their status as medical marijuana users.

Legally, they can do this. After all, federal law prohibits people who use federally prohibited drugs from owning guns. Mind you, these states have no issue ignoring the federal law that prohibits them in the first place, but these states also dislike guns. As a result, gun owners get nasty letters telling them to cough up their firearms.

Now, a Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that seeks to prevent that from happening in the future.

A Republican lawmaker has proposed legislation that would help square the Second Amendment with some who use marijuana in accordance with state law.

The measure, H.R. 2071, was introduced in the House earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Alexander Mooney. The West Virginia Congressman’s “Second Amendment Protection Act,” would amend current law that often puts legal guns out of reach of those who use increasingly legal marijuana.

Mooney’s bill would make an exception in federal law, “that an individual shall not be treated as an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance based on the individual using marijuana for a medical purpose in accordance with State law.”

So how will Congress act on this?

On the one hand, the Democrats who control the House tend to support liberalizing the rules surrounding marijuana use. They may be inclined to back this bill to some degree because of that avenue.

On the other, they’re Democrats who have made their opinions on the Second Amendment abundantly clear. As such, there’s little reason to believe they’ll back anything preserving anyone’s Second Amendment rights under any circumstances.

The fact that the bill has zero co-sponsors after almost three weeks is an indicator that this may sound nice and all, but it’s not going to happen.

Even House Republicans are steering clear of this one, probably due to the marijuana aspect of the bill. As such, it’s likely never to make it to committee.

I’ll applaud Mooney for the effort, though. I do believe this is an important fight to have, and one that remarkably few people are willing to take on. Someone needs to call these states out for their hypocrisy regarding marijuana and guns.

The Second Amendment is a constitutionally-protected right, yet they trample all over it while also allowing a federally-controlled substance to be prescribed in violation of federal law. Meanwhile, these states selectively enforce federal law when it comes to pot because it allows them to punish the one group of people it’s still safe to lash out at. Gun owners.

It needs to end.

May 27, 2022 1:15 PM ET