Marijuana, Guns, and Federal law

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Federally, the use of marijuana is prohibited. Despite that, many states have legalized it and some even allowed people to even use it recreationally.

Yet because of federal law, gun owners often run slam up against a wall.


You see, the states can legalize it all they want, but the federal prohibition means that, technically, you can’t use it and lawfully own a firearm.

A lawsuit is trying to change all of that.

While California lawmakers are looking to further curb people’s access to guns, an effort by a Florida official to loosen federal regulations may have an impact for gun owners in California and across the nation, especially those who rely on medical marijuana.

lawsuit has been filed against the federal government over its policies that bar medical marijuana patients from owning a gun.

Leafly Senior Editor David Downs, who calls the U.S government’s cannabis regulations unconstitutional, breaks it down.

Does the lawsuit even have a chance when cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug?

What it does is raise pressure and temperature in Washington, D.C. with regard to a fix for this major conflict. In California there are an estimated 4.2 million gun owners, and a quarter of California adults have a gun in their home. Meanwhile, we have about 3.9 million cannabis users in California.

Could this legal case be a stunt?

It’s certainly keeping up with politicians carrying the banner of their constituents and raising around what they think are salient issues to consumers.

We see marijuna policy being very much bipartisan, and Florida is kind of the perfect place you’d see someone try to assert not only their gun rights but their medical marijuana rights on top of it. Fried is essentially saying guns are legal, cannabis is legal, and people shouldn’t have to choose.


Obviously, this is part of a longer interview.

As for whether this is a stunt, I think it kind of is and isn’t. The lawsuit in question is the one filed by Nikki Fried, which we’ve covered previously. Fried is trailing in the Democratic primary for governor and is desperate to accomplish something she can hang her hat on.

Yet Fried has also been pretty pro-marijuana for some time, so this is actually consistent with her beliefs in that regard.

Of course, she’s also been fairly anti-gun as well, so…

Regardless, it’s past time that the federal government adjusts its thinking on marijuana.

You see, a schedule 1 drug is one that has no medical benefit. That simply doesn’t apply to pot. While I don’t consider it the miracle drug many do, it does have medicinal uses, which means it belongs in schedule 2 at a minimum.

Especially because some of those medicinal uses could be of profound benefit to gun owners. For example, it’s good for anxiety and depression. That may translate into fewer suicides–roughly two-thirds of what are termed “gun deaths” every year–and may even translate into lower violent crime rates.

All in all, this is something that needs to happen.

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