Marijuana Users Remain in Legal Limbo After SCOTUS Decision

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The Supreme Court made waves with the Bruen decision. It seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. If there's no historic analogue for a gun control law then that gun control law is unconstitutional.


To be fair, even Rahimi didn't really upend that. It just said the analogue doesn't have to be as direct a parallel as many figured. There still had to be one.

Which is why I don't really think the prohibition against marijuana users owning firearms is going to fly in the long run. While there is precedent from the time of the founding for prohibitions on carrying and using a gun under the influence of something, that's not the same as a blanket prohibition against owning a firearm at all if you use a given substance.

Of course, what I think is kind of irrelevant right now. As it stands, a lot of people are sort of in legal limbo.

In a significant development, the U.S. Supreme Court returned a pivotal case regarding gun rights for marijuana users to a lower court after a relevant ruling in a different Second Amendment case.

The decision to remand several gun cases to the lower courts follows the ruling in the United States v. Rahimi case. That case involved a provision of a federal gun-control law that prohibits individuals under domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms, which is similar to the drug prohibition that Hunter Biden was found guilty of violating.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has long equated marijuana users with being mentally ill and deemed unfit to safely own and operate firearms.

Tuesday’s ruling affects several cases, including the ban on gun ownership for marijuana users, noted Marijuana Moment, which first reported the Supreme Court decision.

The cases heading back to lower levels include at least one related to the cannabis ban. The DOJ is now arguing the Supreme Court decision "undermines" a federal court's ruling last year that deemed the prohibition for marijuana consumers to be unconstitutional. This move further cements the government's authority to impose firearm restrictions on specific groups for community safety.


The problem with cannabis here is that multiple states have legalized it not just for medical use, but recreational consumption as well. As a result, there are a lot of people who are getting mixed signals with regard to marijuana use. After all, the DEA isn't kicking in the door of the dispensaries and the Biden administration is working to have it rescheduled so that it's legal for at least medical use.

It's confusing to some degree how something could be effectively legalized with at least a wink and a nod from the federal government, if not outright support, and it's still illegal to buy a gun while doing something that is basically condoned by all levels of government.

That's not remotely right.

While I get that some drug users are notoriously dangerous while strung out on the stuff, the only thing in danger from your typical pot user is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Even then, though, there's nothing in the Second Amendment to suggest that it's OK to infringe on someone's rights simply because you don't like their preferred intoxicant.

But we have to remember that in most places, this isn't about marijuana. It's about guns.

Most of the places where this is an issue are places that are fine with you using whatever drugs you want, but don't think anyone should have a gun.They're more than willing to trip over themselves to find ways to deny people the right to keep and bear arms and marijuana use is just one way to do it. The fact that federal law enables this anti-gun zealotry is just a massive bonus.


Unfortunately, for now, the actions of the Supreme Court have left this question in legal limbo. People are still unsure of where the legal precedent is going to fall, which is an issue. I sincerely hope that we'll find that it's not constitutional, but after Rahimi, I'm not sure that'll be the case.

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