When he ran for president, then-candidate Joe Biden offered his support for marijuana. He not only supported medical pot usage but also seemed to support it being available recreationally. This likely helped him significantly in the primary as Democrats tend to favor such marijuana policies.
Yet it seems that those comments back then didn’t mean all that much.
Today, he sees medical marijuana users as dangerous.
The Department of Justice asked a federal court on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a policy blocking medical marijuana patients from buying or owning guns. The filling is partly premised on the government’s position that it would be too “dangerous to trust regular marijuana users to exercise sound judgment” with firearms.
In making its case for dismissal, DOJ also drew eyebrow-raising historical parallels to past gun bans for groups like Native Americans, Catholics, panhandlers, those who refuse to take an oath of allegiance to the government and people who shoot firearms while drunk.
The lawsuit at hand, which was filed by Florida’s Democratic agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried and several medical cannabis consumers, asserts that the federal government is unlawfully depriving patients of their constitutional rights on multiple grounds, and the plaintiffs filed a revised complaint last month following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on an unrelated gun rights case in New York.
As plaintiffs anticipated, DOJ submitted the motion to dismiss the case on Monday, the court-imposed deadline for a response. The government provided a justification for its dismissal request in an attached memorandum.
The Justice Department memo lists what it believes to be adequate “analogous” examples of gun restrictions that give precedent to the current marijuana policy and its ongoing enforcement.
“Analogous statutes which purport to disarm persons considered a risk to society—whether felons or alcoholics—were known to the American legal tradition,” the memo argues.
These are the aforementioned laws restricting gun ownership among people like Native Americans and Catholics.
Additionally, the argument for impairment justifying the ban is ridiculous. After all, if you take a prescription painkiller–something like Oxycotin or Fentanyl, as an example–you’re in the clear to own firearms despite the fact that these painkillers are known to impair one’s judgment even more than marijuana.
So I’m sorry, I find this argument less than compelling.
In fact, coming from Biden’s Department of Justice, it’s kind of hypocritical.
As noted, Biden sure seemed like he supported legalization efforts for cannabis, a move that would make it so those who use marijuana, particularly for medical use, would be able to also enjoy their Second Amendment rights. Just last month he continued to say he was working to free those incarcerated for non-violent, marijuana-related offenses.
Yet now his administration is making the case that medical marijuana users are too dangerous to be trusted with a firearm?
I’ll believe that when they start revoking driver’s licenses from these same folks. Cars still kill more people than guns every year and no one is suggesting someone stoned should be on the road, but they’re still free to own cars and drive them otherwise.
Why are guns treated differently? Because the Biden administration doesn’t want anyone to have guns and this is just another handy excuse.