“They’re going to have to make a choice – They can have their guns or their marijuana, but not both.”
Is our nation really going to be hunting down medical marijuana users and threatening them to surrender their firearms even though they are not criminals?
If marijuana is legal, especially in states with above-board dispensaries, and especially for medical purposes – then why should one be forced to give up their home defense tools to appease the State? After all, people drink and shoot firearms (not recommended!). But you aren’t pressured to give up guns if you are seen purchasing beer, and the wake of damage left by alcohol excess is quite obvious.
As gun-loving Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to operate a medical marijuana program, with the first dispensary on track to begin sales next month, authorities are warning patients that federal law bars marijuana users from having guns or ammunition.
“They’re going to have to make a choice,” said John T. Adams, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. “They can have their guns or their marijuana, but not both.”
That’s the official line, but the reality of how the policy might be enforced in Pennsylvania and other states is a little muddier.
That includes the question of whether people who already own guns might have to surrender them, instead of just being prohibited from making new purchases.
The political sensitivity was underscored Friday when Pennsylvania regulators reversed themselves and announced its registry of medical-pot patients will not be available, as was previously planned, through the state’s law enforcement computer network.
Gun owner Phil Gruver echoes what I’m pretty sure many of our readers are thinking:
It’s a violation of my Second Amendment rights.
I don’t know of any time anyone’s been using marijuana and going out and committing acts of violence with a gun. Most of the time they just sit on their couch and eat pizza.
Since 2014, Congress has forbidden the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute people who grow, sell and use medical cannabis, but Jeff Sessions recently rescinded that allowance. He is also advised by a DuPont who wants everyone drug tested. You heard right – everyone!
So, will states crack down or not? It’s murky right now. But the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is rabid for prohibition saying, “Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medical purposes … is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”
More than 800,000 guns are sold or transferred in Pennsylvania annually, and more than 10,000 people in the state have signed up for medical marijuana.
A spokeswoman for Dave Freed, the new U.S. attorney in Harrisburg, said only that criminal investigations and prosecutions “will be based on a fair and transparent fact-intensive inquiry of individual cases.”
State police said it’s up to prosecutors to decide when to bring a case.
In Hawaii, it was a directive by law enforcement that cross referenced MM users on the state database and gun owners and then sent threatening letters. This directive was allegedly quickly rescinded, perhaps due to growing ire from a public largely in the know about the real effects of cannabis.
Marijuana activists predict a backlash should federal prosecutors begin going after gun owners who use MM legally. But sometimes prospective gun owners bump up against the war on drugs when they go to purchase a firearm.
“Between 1998 and 2014, nearly 100,000 prospective gun purchasers went home empty-handed because they were flagged as using illegal drugs,” according to the ATF.
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, took medical marijuana registry off the Pennsylvania law-enforcement computer network and assured residents before election that there were no plans to take guns.
Recently, House Republican Leader Dave Reed urged residents to call their congressional representative and “urge them to make gun ownership legal for medical marijuana card holders.”
It’s interesting to see representatives and governors take a growing interest in their constituents’ rights – but boy, America has a long way to go especially after the most recent step back.
Please sound off below!
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Heather Callaghan is a Health Mentor, Energy Healer, writer, speaker and food freedom advocate. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.
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