Being approved for medicinal marijuana may come at a much heftier price than many people expected. While many states make it fairly easy to jump through all the hoops necessary to receive a medical cannabis card, some are turning right around and taking away the applicant’s Second Amendment rights. This not only surprised a lot of unhappy people, but it has incited mass panic from cannabis loving gun owners. Of course there are plenty of people ready to fight this and stand up for their right to bear arms, but Congress and the courts of the United States don’t seem to have our back on this one. Congress concluded that cannabis and other drug use can raise the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior, and should not be associated with gun use. A woman from Nevada has been fighting that decision since 2011, but a federal court just ruled against her. This news will not only affect her, but millions of other Americans living in western states.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made a unanimous 3-0 decision that supported Congress in their conclusion. This lawsuit all started back in 2011, when S. Rowan Wilson tried to purchase a firearm in 2011 for self defense, but was quickly denied. The store owner refused to sell her the weapon because of the federal rule banning the sale of firearms to illegal drug users. This federal rule applies to cannabis, which as we all know is still federally illegal. This makes buying a gun technically illegal for medicinal users in recreational states as well. This ruling doesn’t apply to every state, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals does have jurisdiction over 9 western states. California, Washington, and Oregon will all be affected by this ruling, just to name a few. The court also decided that gun stores can reasonably assume that someone in possession of a medical marijuana card is regularly consuming cannabis, and is therefore not an eligible customer. This makes it impossible for an infrequent user to differentiate themselves from someone that must medicate more heavily.
Of course this decision has lots of people very riled up. Americans love their guns, and I think we can definitely expect to see a lot of resistance to this ruling. Many people are angry that just because they decided to take the responsible route when acquiring cannabis, now they are going to have their second amendment rights stripped from them. It has led plenty of people to point out that now their only options would be to smoke cannabis illegally or own a gun illegally, two things they tried to avoid. Second Amendment activists are angry at the lack of consistency in who can and cannot get a gun in this country. People on the no fly list, for example, are still perfectly eligible to purchase a firearm, but pot smokers can’t. The court denied any breaching of the Second Amendment and also denied Wilson’s claim that she had her rights stripped without any due process. As most of you know, the claim that cannabis leads to an increase in violence has virtually no backing, so this decision is completely bogus. I highly doubt this is the last we hear of this controversy, because gun owners aren’t known for backing down when fighting for their rights.