Debate Magazine

Gun Control and Marijuana

Posted on the 29 September 2011 by Mikeb302000
In Montana and Oregon they're very confused.
Firearms dealers in states that allow medical marijuana can't sell guns or ammunition to registered users of the drug, a policy that marijuana and gun-rights groups say denies Second Amendment rights to individuals who are following state law.
Federal law already makes it illegal for someone to possess a gun if he or she is "an unlawful user of, or addicted to" marijuana or other controlled substances. A Sept. 21 letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, issued in response to numerous inquiries from gun dealers, clarifies that medical marijuana patients are included in that definition.

That seems clear enough. Why would having a prescription for the drug change anything? The reason users of marijuana and other drugs are prohibited from owning firearms is because when taking the drug they are impaired and cannot responsibly and safely manage the guns.
Of course, the slippery slope is looming on the horizon of this policy. What about the prescription pain killers, some of which are like heroin? How can gun ownership be compatible with them and not with their street counterparts? The answer is simple and obvious, it cannot.
But never underestimate the power of the NRA and the gun lobby.
Officials in two Oregon counties have said they'll appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after state judges said sheriffs couldn't deny concealed handgun licenses for medical marijuana patients.
The Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court said the state law that authorizes concealed handgun permits is separate from the federal law that outlaws gun possession by drug users, and the state gun law doesn't address medical marijuana use.

So, in spite of the federal law, the State of Oregon has decided concealed carry permits are OK for medical marijuana patients. It's sort of a technicality that one is a state law and the other is federal. I suppose those gun owners who are also medical marijuana patients had to conceal that fact when buying their guns.  Otherwise the gun dealer would have been constrained to deny the purchase because of the federal law.  Is that part legal, that concealing of marijuana use at the time of buying a gun?
Eventually this will all have to be straightened out.
What's your opinion? Do you think responsible gun owners can smoke pot and continue to be responsible?  I don't. I believe one would have to choose, pot or guns.  If you want to get high, fine I have no problem with it. Drugs should be legal anyway in my opinion.  But, I cannot accept that drug use and gun ownership are compatible.
What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

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