If you have a medical marijuana card, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that you can’t buy a gun.
The court ruled 3-0 on Wednesday that a ban preventing medical marijuana card holders from purchasing firearms is not in violation of the Second Amendment, the Associated Press reports. There are nine western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction, including Nevada, where the case originated.
It’s a decision almost certainly to be thrown out by the Supreme Court. After all, are liquor store & pub owners prohibited from owning firearms? What about their customers? Hardly.
So far, no one has been able to recall “unless you smoke marijuana” in the Second Amendment.
A lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson after she tried to purchase a gun for self-defense and was denied based on a federal ban on the sale of guns to users of illegal drugs. Though marijuana has been legalized in some places on a state-by-state basis, it remains illegal under federal law. The court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Wilson claimed that she doesn’t actually use marijuana, she simply obtained a card to show her support for its legalization. The appeals court agreed with guidelines from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that firearms sellers should assume that medical marijuana card holders use the drug.
Meanwhile in Maryland, Former state Del. Mike Smigiel, who sponsored medical marijuana laws and is a staunch advocate of gun rights, said it was wrong for the government to force people to choose between getting medical help and being able to defend themselves.
The Eastern Shore Republican said marijuana and guns should be treated like alcohol and guns — don’t use them at the same time.
“You don’t drink when you’re using firearms,” he said. “I don’t know that it’s any different.”
The Maryland State Police, who oversee gun ownership in the state, ask prospective gun buyers if they have a medical marijuana card. Buyers must allow the state health department to disclose whether they have applied for a card.
Gun advocates say they have seen questions about medical marijuana appear in the application process only in recent months. State police didn’t respond to questions about the policy.
Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that advocates liberalizing marijuana laws, said the organization doesn’t think medical use of the drug should be a barrier to gun ownership.
“In general, we think medical marijuana patients should have the same rights as other law-abiding Americans,” he said.
Supplies of the drug are expected to be limited until the spring, but the guns-or-marijuana decision already has started reverberating in firearm enthusiast circles, generating a lengthy discussion on a popular gun-owners’ forum online.
“This is leading to a very dark place,” one user wrote. “Where the government can deny your right because of what prescriptions you are on.”
A leading Second Amendment group in Maryland is trying to spread the word that firearms owners will face a choice.
Mark Pennak, president of the gun-rights group Maryland Shall Issue, recently published a notice on the group’s website laying out the legal issues.
“I just want people to be aware,” Pennak, a former Justice Department lawyer, told The Baltimore Sun. “There’s so many ins and outs to gun laws, so many pitfalls and traps, this is probably one that’s easily overlooked.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 2nd, 2018