Archive for the ‘guns’ category

Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Suing Federal Government After Being Denied Gun Purchase

October 21st, 2011

In late September, I wrote about the letter sent by the ATF to all federally licensed firearms dealers, explaining that it was illegal to sell guns or ammunition to state-licensed medical marijuana users.

The reasoning behind this was a clause in the Federal Firearms Act that states that a person cannot purchase or possess a gun if they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” The ATF reminded gun dealers that marijuana is still illegal according to the federal government, and that having a medical marijuana license was proof that a person fit the definition of an unlawful user or addict. Of course, a state-licensed patient is a lawful user as far as the state is concerned, but as we have seen, the feds do not care all that much about state law.

In a debate between MPP’s Steve Fox and former head of the ATF Mike Sullivan, Sullivan repeatedly claimed that the ATF’s hands were tied in this matter. Contrary to the claims that the ATF is simply reminding gun dealers about the law, the ATF actually has the discretion to define what they consider to be an “unlawful user.” In the absence of a court decision clarifying the definition, the ATF had every right to issue a memo that instead declared state-legal medical marijuana users to be lawful users and exempt from this particular status. Instead, they decided to use the vague law as a cover to deny sick people their constitutional right to bear arms.

Well, it looks like this might get cleared up in the (reasonably) near future.

On Oct. 4, outspoken Nevada medical marijuana advocate Rowan Wilson was denied purchase of a handgun due to her status as a patient. On Oct. 17, she and her attorney announced that she is suing the ATF and the federal government.

If this case goes to trial, federal judges will have the ability to determine whether patients in jurisdictions that allow the medical use of marijuana are, in fact, unlawful users pursuant to federal firearms laws.

Let’s hope they side with Ms. Wilson.

So far, gun rights activist groups like the National Rifle Association have been largely silent on this issue, but smaller organizations such as the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the Independent Firearms Owners of America have offered their support.

When asked why gun rights activists should support medical marijuana patients in this instance, IFOA president Richard Feldman said, “Republicans, Conservatives and independents need to face the dire economic realities facing our nation and stop funding programs like the war on drugs that don’t work, corrupt law enforcement and grow criminal enterprises. Our experience with alcohol prohibition teaches us how to lessen both the harm and the costs to society from banning substances which otherwise law abiding individuals will pursue.  As gun owners many of us subscribe to the maxim, ‘Better to be caught by the police with one, than by a gang banger without one’!  It’s time American face reality, deal with it intelligently, and stop protesting it, regardless of the ’it’ being guns or marijuana.”

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DPA Blasts Gun Discrimination Against Marijuana Patients

October 6th, 2011
​Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Says Medical Marijuana Patients Are Prohibited From Owning GunsLast month the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent a letter to gun sellers saying it is illegal for medical marijuana patients to own firearms."Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition," says the letter from Assistant Director Arthur Herbert."ATF's blatant discrimination against Americans who use marijuana legally under state law is outrageous," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Continue reading "DPA Blasts Gun Discrimination Against Marijuana Patients" >

No Guns For Pot Patients? My Government Embarrasses Me

October 5th, 2011
​​By Jack RikessToke of the TownNorthern California CorrespondentI'll give you my joint when you take it from my brown, resin-soaked fingers.What comes first... A revolution or a war? Right now more Americans are taking to the streets in numbers not seen since they tried to do away with the original Coca-Cola. And with the same reasons, the Cola-Baggers in the Day wanted to turn back the clocks to a simpler time. The message was simple: Don't mess with our Coke.In 1937 marijuana was politically shoved into a niche alongside heroin and other bad stuff, because of money. Behind the scenes, the same names were at work. Great American families like the Hearsts, the Mellons and the DuPonts needed cannabis to go away, so they could make money the old fashion way -- by manipulating the markets. Continue reading "No Guns For Pot Patients? My Government Embarrasses Me" >

Federal Govt.: It’s Illegal To Sell Guns To Marijuana Users

September 28th, 2011
​Bye-bye, Second Amendment? The U.S. Department of Justice is notifying federally licensed firearms dealers that they aren't allowed to sell guns or ammo to anyone who smokes pot -- even medical marijuana patients.The memo from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, dated September 21, says the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, even in states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal uses, reports The Associated Press.Federal law prohibits anyone who is an "unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" from possessing firearms or ammunition. Continue reading "Federal Govt.: It's Illegal To Sell Guns To Marijuana Users" >

Feds To Legal Medical Marijuana Patients: You Don’t Have Second Amendment Rights. Period.

September 28th, 2011

The federal government, notably under the current administration, continues to paint itself into a corner politically speaking regarding Mr. Obama’s pre-election promises to ‘fix the problem with medical marijuana’.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) issued a memorandum on September 21 to all gun dealers in the United States for the expressed purpose of informing them that they MUST discriminate against lawful medical cannabis patients and DENY them their Second Amendment right to buy and possess a firearm for hunting and/or personal protection.

The feds newest ‘clarifying’ memo regarding medical cannabis (proceeding the 2009 Ogden and 2011 Cole memos) is notable because members of NORML’s Legal Committee recently have been successfully challenging local and state law enforcement officials who’ve chosen to discriminate against lawful medical cannabis patients by denying them permits for a concealed weapon.

Why is it OK and does it make any sense at all for lawful medical patients who are prescribed powerful painkillers and sedatives to be able to enjoy their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities, but medical cannabis patients who want to hunt or have self-protection in their homes are overtly discriminated against by our own federal government?

This new ATF memo will provide an interesting test to see if the National Rifle Association really does support citizens’ rights to bear arms.