Although carrying a red card makes you a legitimate and lawful medical marijuana patient in the eyes of the State, it doesn’t change the fact that you remain an ‘unlawful user’ in when it comes to the federal government. And because state medical marijuana laws don’t mean a thing to the feds, any medical marijuana patient who owns a firearm is breaking federal law.
Federal law prohibits any person who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from shipping, transporting, or receiving firearms or ammunition. Before purchasing a gun you must submit a form with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. This document asks you to check a box verifying status as an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” If you’re a cannabis consumer and you answer “yes,” you won’t be able to purchase or carry a gun because you are an unlawful user of a federally defined controlled substance. Answering “no” means you’re committing perjury.
While it isn’t illegal for a gun owner to drink alcohol and shoot, gun retailers can be fined or jailed if they knowingly vend a gun or ammunition to a marijuana consumer. Violating this law can land you in the can with a minimum sentence of five-to-ten years.
Forget about the Second Amendment. In using marijuana as medicine, your constitutional rights are dubbed forfeiture and you are cast a criminal in the eyes of the federal government; who view marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic, with no medicinal value.
The laws were intended to keep criminal penalties high so that violent drug crimes would stay down. But what is actually occurring is that mmj patients, who are otherwise law-abiding citizens are being shut out from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.
These days, the constitutional question of the second amendment has been a weighty discussion and the legitimacy surrounding the discrimination against pot users is more common than ever. Now, Gun-toters and pot smokers alike are left to face this lofty conundrum. Should people have to choose between guns and medical marijuana?