It is rather amazing that suddenly the gun issue is becoming intertwined with medical marijuana access. Honolulu police issued a letter to Hawaiian medical marijuana patients that they must turn over their firearms, and now Pennsylvania is planning on enforcing gun bans on anyone planning on getting a medical marijuana card.
Gun laws and marijuana seems to be a real gray area because Pennsylvania’s law concerning medical marijuana does not include any verbiage about firearms. However, federal law prohibits gun purchase for anyone that admits to marijuana use for any reason.
As Pennsylvania prepares to issue medical marijuana cards by year’s end, patients will find firearms out of their reach, state and federal law enforcement authorities say.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes,” said Special Agent Joshua E. Jackson, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania attorneys specializing in medical marijuana law told lehighvalleylive.com they were surprised firearms ownership is an issue at all with patients. Steve Schain, whose Hoban Law Group is “100 percent devoted to cannabis and hemp law,” said the program was created by state law, and there is no mention of firearms.
The trouble is, it’s an automatic “no” when a legitimate medical marijuana user applies for a background check to purchase or transfer a firearm or ammunition, or to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm, according to the ATF and Pennsylvania State Police.
The federal background check form was amended in the past year to explicitly point out the no-exceptions federal prohibition, said Major Scott C. Price, state police director of the Bureau of Records and Identification.
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?” questions 11e reads on the ATF Form 4473.\”Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
Can you own a gun and have a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania? The answer seems to be no as of now. Do you think that many potential medical marijuana patients throughout the country will elect to continue buying illegal marijuana rather than sacrifice their right to bear arms?