Smoking Gun

Trading a constitutional right for pain relief is a choice no one should have to make – that was the message sent to the federal government by a former head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in defense of medical marijuana users being legally allowed to own a gun.

Restrictions on gun ownership can be traced back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), who classify those with medical marijuana recommendations as “admitted drug users” who are banned from buying, possessing, or utilizing a gun. Medical marijuana users who own guns live in a constant state of uncertainty as they grapple with state and federal law discrepancies.

Since gun purchasers must sign a form swearing they are not habitual drug users, a holder of a marijuana prescription cannot both answer the question honestly and buy a firearm today from a gun dealer anywhere in the country. In some states federal law enforcement officers have threatened to go after either gun owners with a prescription or firearms dealers or private sellers who dare to sell them guns.

“The refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issue has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain-free or risk prosecution and imprisonment,” said David Keene in a Washington Times editorial.

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