Both gun owners and cannabis users across the country are still infuriated with the recent ruling made by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They decided that a federal ban on selling guns to medical and recreational cannabis users, does not violate the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment. The court’s ruling affects 9 key western states and two territories. Gun owners that need medical marijuana to treat their illnesses, will no longer have the right to protect themselves with firearms. Obviously, the millions of people that are having their rights affected by this decision are less than pleased. Many citizens are looking for some sort of political recourse, but where is the biggest gun rights lobbying group when we need them? The National Rifle Association has long defended Americans’ rights to bear arms, but they don’t seem to have any interest in extending that protection to cannabis users. This isn’t too much of a surprise based on the NRA’s voting history and stance on marijuana, but it really is hypocritical to the very essence of what the organization is supposed to stand for. If the cannabis community could convince the NRA that our fight for gun ownership is conducive with their fight, we might actually be able to turn this thing around.
The NRA has never been all that picky when it comes to who they believe deserves the right to purchase firearms. They have been very opposed over stripping that right from the people that the government deemed worthy of placing on the no-fly list. Cannabis users on the other hand, are not deemed fit to own a firearm. Citizens are specifically asked about pot use on federal firearm forms, so this isn’t a don’t ask don’t tell situation. Even if simply lying on your form is a feasible option, legal cannabis users shouldn’t have to put themselves in that position. There are 3 states affected by this ruling that have recreational cannabis, with over 1.2 million users between them. If you combine that with the over 800,000 medicinal patients living in the other states, that’s over 2 million people that can no longer purchase firearms. I find it hard to believe that the NRA isn’t bothered to hear this. There are gun owners and pot smokers on both sides of the aisle, it’s time for the NRA to stand up for every citizen’s gun rights, no matter what party they might belong to.
The NRA did support the 1968 Gun Control Act that made it illegal to sell guns to cannabis, or other drugs, users. However, that was nearly 50 years ago, and things have certainly changed. The current public perception is that cannabis has no place on the list alongside much harder and more dangerous drugs. Instead, cannabis should be treated more similarly to alcohol. The NRA has a chance to make a big difference, because they have such sway in these issues once they decide to get involved. Cannabis lobbyists are beginning to get money of their own to play with, so it might very well be in the NRA’s best interest to make friends early. Medical marijuana certainly isn’t going to be going anywhere any time soon, so it would be nice to see the NRA take a progressive stance on this issue. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter at all what your political affiliations might be, the NRA was created to protect our Second Amendment rights, and they need to start doing that for cannabis users right away.