Cannabis and Gun Control Policy
Christopher Morales, a California criminal defense attorney, provided some legal insight into this complex matter. “The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits anyone from possessing guns if they use or are addicted to cannabis,” Morales explained.
“The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits anyone from possessing guns if they use or are addicted to cannabis.”
The exact wording of the federal law prohibits any “unlawful user” or addict of cannabis (or any other federally restricted substance) from purchasing guns, even if that individual resides in a state with legal medical or adult-use cannabis laws.
A Nevada medical marijuana patient named S. Rowan Wilson challenged the ruling after she attempted to purchase a firearm for self-defense in 2011. When the gun store refused to sell to her, she filed a lawsuit challenging the federal statute against gun ownership by a lawful marijuana patient.
The case went all the way to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where, on August 31, 2016, Chief District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that a federal government ban of gun sales to abiding state-legal medical marijuana patients does not violate the Second Amendment. READ MORE…
Recently, the Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii has sent a series of letters to residents who use medical marijuana, informing them that they are disqualified from owning firearms, even if they were obtained legally and in compliance with state and federal law. If the medical marijuana users refuse to turn over their firearms, then presumably, they will face state-sanctioned violence until the guns are removed.
“This letter is to inform you that under the provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Section 134-7(a) you are disqualified from firearms ownership, possession, or controlling firearms. Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition,” the letter reads. It goes on to say that residents who use medical marijuana “have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) or otherwise transfer ownership.”