Medical Marijuana Use Shouldn't Justify Infringing On Gun Rights

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

There are 36 states where medical marijuana is legal. It hasn’t led to the destruction of western civilization–at least, not yet–and while it’s still technically a violation of federal law, the feds don’t seem to be doing all that much about it.

However, there’s a problem with medical marijuana.

Technically, the problem isn’t with the pot itself, but with the states telling medical marijuana users that they can’t exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Now, some are pushing back on that.

An unlikely alliance of far-right conservatives and legal marijuana advocates is pushing to allow medical cannabis patients to own guns.
The federal government classifies marijuana as an illicit drug — on par with heroin, LSD and ecstasy — and prohibits anyone who uses an “unlawful” substance from purchasing a firearm.
Some gun-rights supporters and pro-legalization groups and legislators are lobbying during the special session to allow the Minnesota Department of Health to petition the federal government to exempt marijuana from its schedule I classification for patients on the medical program, meaning the government recognizes it has medicinal qualities.
If their effort is successful, Minnesota would be the first of 36 states that allow medical marijuana in some form to appeal directly to the federal government on behalf of its enrollees, a number that’s expected to expand three to four times over the next few years with the addition of the dried flower for adults.
“The registry is going to grow a lot,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal, who has been advocating for a change in the classification. “All of those people will be denied the right to get a shotgun in the fall to go hunting.”

This could well be big.

Yes, I understand the legal side of this, but the problem is that if a state legalizes it and states are the ones typically enforcing the gun laws, then it stands to reason that the state shouldn’t be punishing gun owners for doing something that’s legal.

However, this is just one step.

See, none of this prevents a law-abiding citizen from getting jammed up because the feds have decided that medical marijuana users can’t have guns. It only impacts state and local law enforcement, after all, not federal. As a result, though, good people might find themselves in hot water.

State laws are great, but at some point, the federal government needs to address this. The easiest solution probably is to downgrade marijuana from a schedule one drug to a schedule two. This should remove most of the problems while still not outright legalizing marijuana itself. That’s probably too much for most people, to be sure.

Yet what it should do is remove the apparent need some have to try and deny Second Amendment rights to people because they’re using the drug.

Another option is to take Minnesota’s proposed legislation and introduce it at the federal level.

Honestly, there’s something in it for just about everyone. Democrats seem to support pro-marijuana efforts and Republicans support gun rights. Each side can say they were voting for something popular with their base and count it as a win. President Biden could justify it as pro-pot legislation, too.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. I think congressional Democrats are too blinded by their hatred for the Second Amendment to be remotely interested in doing anything that could benefit gun owners, even left-leaning gun owners. Partisan divides don’t heal easily, especially in this day and age.

It’s shame, but this is the world we live in.

For medical marijuana users in Minnesota, this particular bill is a good move. Let’s just hope we’ll see it in the other 35 states.