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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:45

Medical Marijuana And Your Second Amendment Rights Featured

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Now that Medical Marijuana has been voted on here in Florida, one thing you should be aware of before you run out and get your MM card.

Federal law prohibits individuals from the possession of a firearm under a number of circumstances, including if they are a convicted felon, fugitive from justice, residents of another country in the United States illegally, have been adjudicated mentally defective or been committed to a mental institution or are unlawful users of or are addicted to marijuana, depressants, stimulants or other narcotic drugs.

Because Federal law prohibits gun purchases by an "unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance." the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has clarified that the law applies to marijuana users regardless of whether their State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Though a growing number of states are legalizing it for medical or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal for any purpose under federal law, which still considers the drug to have a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use.

A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year, found the Federal Government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment, agreeing that possession of a card gives a dealer “reasonable cause to believe” that a person is an unlawful drug user. “Registry cardholders are more likely to be marijuana users, and illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are more likely to be involved in violent crimes,” the 9th Circuit opinion reads. “Accordingly, preventing those individuals who firearm dealers know have registry cards from acquiring firearms furthers the Government’s interest in preventing gun violence” finding that the federal law passes muster with the Constitution, as "it is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely as a consequence of that use to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior."

Licensed gun dealers cannot sell a gun or ammunition to anyone that indicates on the paperwork that they are using a controlled substance, or if the dealer has a "reasonable cause to believe" person uses drugs. Reasonable cause even includes talking about drugs.

Ultimately, Medical Marijuana Card holders are blocked from purchasing firearms, thanks to the form that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires them to fill out before buying a gun. One of the form’s questions, asks if you are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” your answer is federally binding, so it doesn’t matter that pot is legal in Florida and other states or not: If you answer “yes,” then you get denied, and if you answer “no,” you’re committing perjury.

We contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Licensing and they said that nowhere in the Florida statues for issuing a carry license does it say you can’t get a carry permit due to having a Medical Marijuana Card, so how this will play out between Federal and State remains to be seen.

Al DiPasquale

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