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Biden's move on pot has Second Amendment ramifications

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden is no friend of gun owners. What’s more, is that he doesn’t seem interested in even trying to pretend he is, what with his anti-gun rhetoric time and time again.

So if he does something that could potentially benefit the Second Amendment crowd, it’s only by accident.

And that’s likely what’s happening with his latest move, where he announced taking steps toward changing how the government views marijuana.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.

Biden then called on governors to follow suit with state offenses for simple marijuana possession, saying that “just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”

The president also directed U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal law as a Schedule I drug, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s most dangerous classification that includes substances like heroin and LSD.

Biden’s executive order to pardon simple possession includes the District of Columbia as well as people convicted in the federal court system.

Now, simple marijuana possession isn’t necessarily something that will preclude anyone from owning a gun. The pardons aren’t likely to make a big difference toward gun ownership.

But the potential reclassification of marijuana is.

As we’ve noted, people who use marijuana in accordance with the laws of their state are still legally prohibited from even owning a gun. It’s what led Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried to file a lawsuit. She’s no friend of gun owners either, but she is very much in the pro-legalization effort, so this ties into that.

Now, understand that what Biden is doing here is a political stunt. Democrats aren’t doing as well in the polls as the president would like, so he’s making a big splash with something that polls pretty well. This is an attempt to garner support for Democrats.

However, that doesn’t mean gun owners won’t benefit.

After all, there’s nothing in the Second Amendment that says gun rights can be removed from someone for getting a prescription. Nothing in that whole “shall not be infringed” thing is followed up with “unless they use this one substance that only makes them a threat to the snack aisle at the nearest curb store.”

Yet federal law actually does. It doesn’t differentiate between heroin or cocaine and marijuana.

Hell, you can still own a gun if you’re prescribed Fentanyl, which is the drug of choice in the whole opioid epidemic, but not pot.

Biden’s move is, for once, welcome.

The problem, however, is that it’s directing people to just look at rescheduling marijuana. It doesn’t actually do anything. Considering how the Department of Justice has tried to defend the prohibition in the Florida lawsuit–which included using blatantly racist laws of the past, it should be noted–I won’t hold out much hope that it will actually happen.

Yet if it does, suddenly an untold number of Americans who would like to own a gun and use the marijuana their doctor prescribed will be able to lawfully do so. They won’t have to worry about being arrested for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

And if Biden is able to deliver this, it’ll be a rare moment of this anti-un White House benefitting gun owners, even if it’s only by accident.

Honestly, considering the way things have gone over the last year at the federal level, I’m willing to take what wins I can get.