Firearms & Cannabis: Feds Say No Way
Cannabis has been legalized in some form in 30 states plus Washington, D.C. itself. But since it is still illegal under Federal Law, it is up to each state to decide exactly what legality means when it comes to weed.
Some allow home cultivation and a robust network of dispensary locations, while others only allow you to grow your own at home, and still others allow limited dispensaries only and strictly prohibit homegrown cannabis.
Until cannabis is removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, and the federal government acknowledges the truth about marijuana, as so many states already have, there will always be this patchwork set of rules and regulations that can change drastically when you cross state lines.
While we deal with the chasm between state and federal cannabis laws, there is one potentially life-altering pitfall that all weed lovers need to be aware of – their 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms and how it is compromised by cannabis.
Some states like Florida are tiptoeing into very conservative medical marijuana programs, while states like Colorado are supporting both recreational and medical marijuana programs and are reaping the revenues that come along with them.
But in the eyes of Uncle Sam, they are all in violation of federal law and so is anyone who participates in those programs. The Feds have made it clear that you might have a spotless record, and you might be able to buy weed legally in your state, and you might be able to buy a gun legally in your state, but once you mix the last two you are somehow breaking the law. Two Rights making a Wrong, or some bullshit.
The penalty for breaking that law is a felony charge that can carry up to a 10 year prison term along with it.
To be clear… not 10 years for actually shooting that gun at someone, or committing some sort of cannabis related crime with that gun on you at the time… No, just by registering yourself for a firearm and some cannabis can get you a decade behind bars. This is the perfect example of a victimless crime.
Another important point is that the Feds don’t care if your state (or your weed) is medical or recreational, it’s all illegal to them as we said before. BUT, when you walk into a recreational cannabis dispensary in California, or Oregon, or Colorado, you do not need to fill out a packet of paperwork asking for some of your most personal information. But walk into a medical cannabis dispensary in those same states and you’ll feel like you just applied for a 30 year mortgage before they even let you see any weed.
So, although it may be a paranoid Sativa dream to fear the Feds gathering all of that medical marijuana customer data for some sort of blacklist on buying guns, it is not at all outside the realm of possibility that they could cross reference those databases to help them solidify an unrelated case against a gun owner who happens to use medical marijuana as well.
Just another reason that “safe access” to cannabis shouldn’t mean having your most personal info on some relatively unprotected hard drive, or in a filing cabinet just waiting to be marked as evidence.
We will only see real cannabis reform from the top down, when the Feds back off and treat cannabis users no differently than beer users, or coffee users, or aspirin users.
We already have laws with harsh enough consequences when someone malevolently uses a firearm; it is unAmerican to make it a crime just to own one.