One of the most controversial issues surrounding the marijuana legalization movement is that some states are enforcing federal laws that would take away marijuana consumers’ right to own firearms. Yesterday, a man in a West Hollywood hotel was asked to leave the premises due to his open marijuana use and in response he pulled out his gun and fired it multiple times in the air as he left. The issue of whether you can own a gun and have a medical marijuana card in California may have just worsened.
The gun issue is a problem facing many states that have legalized marijuana. Delaware is even suggesting that a stamp be place on registered medical marijuana patients’ drivers licenses so that gun shops know not to sell firearms to them. It is a federal rule that prohibits anyone applying to purchase a gun that admits to marijuana use on the application gets an automatic denial for the purchase. Hawaii has even gone so far as to issue letters to registered medical marijuana patients instructing them turn over their guns. Many marijuana advocates are infuriated over the idea that they must choose between consuming marijuana and owning a gun, arguing that alcohol drinkers or prescription drug takers can become much more impaired than marijuana users. If alcohol drinkers and people taking opiate based prescription drugs are able to own and possess a gun, then why shouldn’t marijuana users be able to as well?
Multiple shots were reported Tuesday evening at the Mondrian on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Nobody was hit by gunfire.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Charles Duncan says the man in his 30s was asked to leave after a dispute over pot. Duncan says as the man was leaving he shot four or five rounds into the air. He then got into a silver hatchback, driven by a woman, and sped off.
The Los Angeles Times says it’s unclear if the gunman was staying at the hotel or visiting its restaurant or bars.
Deputies are searching for the car.
It is stupid instances such as these that make efforts to create fair laws around marijuana and gun ownership difficult. California’s legalized recreational marijuana market is less than three weeks old and this sort of recklessness is an absurd example that the opposition can use against legalization. Will congress use this man’s stupidity as an excuse to take away firearms from state registered medical marijuana consumers?
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