WeedLex
Sep 7, 2016 9:15 AM

Marijuana Card Holders Not Allowed to Purchase Guns. Is It Fair?

If you are a licensed marijuana user, nobody will sell you a firearm, as it is prohibited by the federal ban. You might argue that it is a breach of the American human rights, but judicial authorities have an opposite point of view.

When Rowan Wilson, a medical marijuana card holder from Nevada, tried to purchase a gun for self-defense in 2011, she was denied by the gun seller who cited the federal rule prohibiting gun sale to illegal drug users.

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In response to her lawsuit, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that such prohibition did not violate the Second Amendment. The ruling of the federal appeals court applies to California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and five more Western states, where medical marijuana usage is legal.

The reason for such a ruling is that medical marijuana is still illegal under the federal law.

Though Wilson does not use marijuana and only obtained a medical marijuana card in support of marijuana legalization, she was still not allowed to purchase a firearm.

In 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a guidance barring gun sellers from selling firearms to people with medical cannabis cards. Thus, the 9th Circuit found it was reasonable for gun sellers to assume that as a cannabis card holder, Wilson most likely consumed the drug.

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According to the court ruling, the consumption of marijuana, like any other illegal drug usage, increases the risk of unpredictable behavior, which is inadmissible for gun holders.

However, Wilson's attorney is appalled by the fact that a person’s constitutional right to possess a gun is protected if they are on the no-fly list but is at the same time neglected if they have a marijuana card.

The federal court also dismissed other Wilson's constitutional challenges, including her claim that she was limited in her rights without any preliminary investigation.

Supporting Wilson's position, marijuana advocates also disprove the myth that stoned people are more inclined to violence.

For example, Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is sure that all law-abiding citizens, even those who use cannabis for medical purposes, should receive the same constitutional rights and protections.

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Though this ruling was significant for marijuana users, cannabis experts hold out hope that this was not the last time when a federal court addressed medical cannabis consumers and their constitutional right to hold firearms.

Analyzing the ruling, some cannabis law experts express the opinion that making its decision, the court did not consider the possibility that cannabis consumers should not be mixed with other drug users in terms of possible violence risk.

How does cannabis affect people's behavior? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you agree that it is fair to limit cannabis card holders in their gun rights? We would be glad to hear your opinion on this issue.

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