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MMJ or Molon Labe: Medical Marijuana Users Losing Gun Rights in States

MMJ or Molon Labe: Medical Marijuana Users Losing Gun Rights in States

Author: Justin Mckibben

It seems politicians are telling people- take your pick; guns or marijuana… you can’t have both.

Back in 2016, you may recall that we did an article covering the story of S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada resident who in 2011 was denied when attempting to purchase a handgun when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder. In court, Wilson maintained that she does not herself use marijuana, but in August of 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a 3-0 vote that if you have a medical marijuana card, you can’t buy a gun.

Recently the ideas behind this case have sparked renewed outrage and discussion over whether or not medical marijuana users should be permitted to own a firearm. The gun control debate is one that is already being consistently argued in the shadow of recent mass shootings and pushing from politicians to address the issue. But drug policy impacting gun policy adds a new perspective to the conversation.

Now there are several states cracking down on marijuana users, and it has some people up in arms about how even though states are legalizing medical marijuana use, federal law and many state governments are cutting them off from their right to gun ownership.

Under Federal Influence

According to federal law, gun purchases are already prohibited to people who are described as:

“-unlawful user and/or addict of any controlled substance.”

Back in 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) insisted that the law applies to marijuana users-

“regardless of whether [their] State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.”

So it seems the ATF and the federal government are pulling out all the stops when it comes to making sure marijuana users aren’t allowed to own guns.

The decision in the care of Wilson and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals includes the areas:

  • District of Alaska
  • District of Arizona
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • District of Hawaii

The Supreme Court ruled that it is NOT a violation of 2nd Amendment Rights to deny guns to marijuana patients. The impact of that ruling has now begun to spread. It would seem the federal government thus far is standing by this. Special Agent Joshua E. Jackson of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington D.C. states:

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes.”

And as far as things look now, there will be no change anytime soon to the federal government’s stance on marijuana. Especially with the current administration emphasizing so heavily a law and order approach to drug policy.

More States Against Marijuana and Guns

Even though there are 29 states and Washington D.C. that have voted to allow patients to have access to medical marijuana, several of these states are choosing to trade that opportunity for a shot at gun ownership. In fact, just this week a few state officials announced their own stance against allowing gun owners to be medical marijuana patients.

Hawaii

In a move that spurred a backlash of viral videos and other reports, Hawaii took a bold step in this effort. Last week the Honolulu Police Department sent letters to medical marijuana users saying that they will need to turn in their weapons within 30 days of receipt. According to Leafly, a copy of one of these letters states:

“Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition.”

However, the letter also apparently says that the medical marijuana patients can get their firearms back. The stipulation being they would need a doctor’s clearance to do so.

Pennsylvania

A similar situation happened in Pennsylvania. The state police director of the Bureau of Records and Identification, Major Scott C. Price, made an announcement on Tuesday stating:

“So, in fact, an individual who is issued a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania who is a user of medical marijuana, that individual would be prohibited from purchasing or technically possession of a firearm under federal law.”

So Pennsylvania won’t allow people to even be in possession of a firearm at any time with a medical marijuana card.

Ohio

Ohio’s medical marijuana program becomes operation in September of 2018. Information from industry analysts estimate that 24% of the state’s population have qualifying conditions; that’s 2.8 million Ohioans. But just this week it was announced that people in the Buckeye State who register to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes will also be prohibited from possessing firearms.

According to the ATF letter from back in 2011, marijuana users are also prohibited from:

  • Shipping
  • Transporting
  • Receiving
  • Possessing firearms or ammunition

So anyone in Ohio who is applying to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer must sign a form attesting her or she is not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

Under federal law, lying on the form is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Even Joe Eaton, southwest spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association says they are confused at this point,

““There is definitely a conflict between the state laws and the federal laws,”

Some Ohio law enforcement officials are also unsure at this point how to enforce these situations as of the moment, and are depending on their prosecutors to provide more clarification through the conflict with state and federal law.

Will Marijuana Users Go Molon Labe?

For those unfamiliar with the term, molon labe is Greek for “come and take [them]”. This declaration has been repeated by many generals and politicians to express an army’s or nation’s determination not to surrender. The motto ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ is on the emblem of the I Army Corps of Greece and the Second Infantry Division of Cyprus, and is also the motto of United States Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT). The expression “Come and take it” was a slogan in the Texas Revolution.

It is also a popular choice of words for many 2nd Amendment advocates.

The question becomes, how will the hardcore 2nd Amendment supporters react to this ruling against medical marijuana and guns? Some actually believe this may actually inspire the National Rifle Association (NRA) to become pro-medical marijuana at the federal level. Will this kind of shift in support turn the tide?

Will avid gun owners come out in strong opposition to taking away guns from medical marijuana patients, or will they agree that drug use should disqualify them from owning or possessing weapons and ammunition?

How should authorities proceed? Is this a safe political sit rep or another war of opinions waiting to happen?

Treating Marijuana Abuse

Whether or not you support gun ownership of medical marijuana patients, we should all be able to get behind having treatment resources for anyone who struggles with substance abuse.

Marijuana, much like any other substance, can be abused and have an adverse impact on the overall quality of life for many people. No matter what the legal status of any drug, it can still have a negative impact on people who grapple with substance use disorder. We know this all too well, as plenty of prescription medications helped create the opioid crisis in America.

There still needs to be resources available to help people who suffer from abuse. Supporting addiction recovery means breaking the stigma and offering holistic and effective solutions. Palm Healthcare Company is here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

 

Author: Justin Mckibben

Just how far are the Florida anit-marijuana crusaders known as the ‘No On 2’ group willing to push the envelope as far as their campaign to undermine the legislation to legalize medicinal marijuana in the state of Florida? The Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative 2 is something that is being placed in the hands of the people very soon to either approve or deny, and this group of anti-marijuana advocates are pulling out all the stops in hopes that Florida will see that a ‘pot doc’ is a drug dealing boogie-man, and they are coming to corrupt your children, pillage and plunder!

Marijuana: The Date-Rape Drug?!

In ‘No On 2’s latest piece of anti-pot propaganda to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana the group has launched a new campaign that suggests marijuana, not alcohol or even specifically roofies, will be used as the new date rape drug?! How closely this reminds me of a certain black and white propaganda film from a long time ago.

Florida Anti-Marijuana Crusaders: Valid Concerns or Just Fear Mongering?

photo via: http://mic.com/articles/96400/this-may-be-the-worst-anti-marijuana-ad-of-all-time

What is a date rape drug? It typically is NOTHING close to marijuana. Generally predators slip drugs like ketamines (Special K) or rohypnol (roofies) into drinks or food when their target isn’t paying attention in order to intoxicate the victim, sometimes beyond consciousness. Most of these drugs typically have no color, smell or taste. The drugs not only make you physically weak but slow down your brain. When an actual date-rape drug has been used it is described that you feel confused and thereby unable to refuse sex.

So from the sounds of it marijuana is nowhere near the common definition of a ‘date-rape drug’.  A huge problem created with this kind of ad it that people then become distracted from the fact that alcohol is not only the most dangerous drug out there, but it is the single most commonly used substance ever credited to help commit all forms of sexual assault. Yet alcohol remains perfectly legal, and groups like ‘No One 2’ don’t seem too interested in bringing back prohibition.

Now I would be lying to say there isn’t some legitimate evidence to suggest that people experience impaired judgment while high on marijuana, the type of effect on reasoning and reaction time that is caused by actual date-rape drugs or alcohol is beyond any extent marijuana could effect on a person. Never mind the women survivors who have actually experienced sexual assault after being drugged with real date rape substances.

The Devil is in the Details?!

The ‘No On 2’ group previously posted a video called The Devil is in the Details which featured police officials and other so-called ‘experts’ on the subject who all claimed that Amendment 2 would grant easy access to pot for anyone, regardless of their medical state. In an attempt to prove this point

Yet the amendment specifically states that it “does not authorize ‘the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.'”

Sheriff Grady Judd, the president of Florida’s Sheriff Association made the claim that any vote to approve Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative 2 , is “a vote for legalizing marijuana forever in the state of Florida” and continued to imply that if approved, this initiative would not regulate the medical aspect.

Susan Kelsey, a constitutional law attorney was recording during the documentary that the amendment would be one of the most lenient medical marijuana laws in the country, and the video goes on to paint a picture of the initiative as being riddled with loop-holes, and designed to easily manipulate by pointing out the words ‘other conditions’ in the list of disease that would qualify patients to receive medical marijuana.

In this video the narrator even emphasizes that 90% of medical marijuana in other states is prescribed for “pain” in a sarcastic tone, which sounds like ‘No On 2’ means to state that all those cancer patients and other seriously ill individuals are probably faking it, along with people who have trouble sleeping right?

The Pill Mill Comparison?!

In this video, ‘No On 2’ goes even further with an attempt at what I personally see as a scare tactic. They try to compare Florida’s potential future medicinal marijuana industry to the recent ‘pill mill epidemic’ that swept through claiming lives of hundreds of residents. Thankfully

So they aim to show that pot is anything like Oxycodone? The organization pushing against medical marijuana is saying now that ‘pill mills’ will now be replaced with ‘pot docs’. ‘No On 2’ claims that ‘pot docs’ are going to be plaguing our neighborhoods, established next to every school and on every corner. They play very scary music, and use edgy camera angles to drive home how terrifying it will be when marijuana invades your home! But is it really that serious?

Teens and Care-givers?!

Now this part is just ridiculous. The Devil is in the Details claims that there is no age requirement in the legislation, which means kids will be able to obtain medical marijuana off of any drug dealer off the street, without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Also, the video states that ‘care-givers’ will be distributing medical marijuana and not liscened doctors. So they tell the viewer that the amendment basically legalizes anymore to be a drug-dealer, and to sell to all ages.

Worst of all, the video continues to threaten the viewer with the idea that this is an inescapable infestation of ‘pot docs’ and drug dealers that are being unleashed on their neighborhoods. The interviews in the short film consistently make claims that this new amendment is not about medication for the sick, it is about making money and protecting the drug-dealers and crooks while they destroy Florida with their dirty dope!

The Fact VS The Fiction

CLAIM In reference to the availability of medical marijuana, the website asserts “anyone who wants pot will get it.”

FACT In their decision placing Amendment 2 on the November ballot, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed that only patients with “debilitating” diseases and medical conditions would qualify for medical marijuana.

CLAIM “Teens will be able to legally purchase pot without their parents’ consent.”

FACT- In order to purchase medical marijuana, you would need a doctor’s recommendation. Under Florida law, barring a few extenuating circumstances, physicians are not allowed to provide medical treatment to minors without parental or guardian consent.

CLAIM Amendment 2 will lead to a “pill mill”-like scenario in Florida. “Pot docs” will “spring up next to restaurants, schools, churches and supermarkets.”

FACT The State of Florida’s office of Economic and Demographic Research has already addressed this issue. Required physician examination, the application process with the Department of Health, the regulatory structure that would be implemented by that same body and subsequent protective laws that may be passed by the legislature would make this scenario extremely unlikely. (See pages 10-11 of OEDR Financial Information Statement)

CLAIM felons-even drug dealers would be able to qualify as caregivers in order to administer medical cannabis to severely ill patients.

FACT If the amendment is passed, the Florida Department of Health will be tasked with issuing detailed regulations regarding qualification requirements for caregivers. During that process United for Care will fight alongside any organization that is concerned about making sure nobody with a record of dealing drugs can become a qualified caregiver.

The thousands of men and women who use medical marijuana to treat severe problems, from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and inflammation are not helpless victims who are void of a comprehension of the effects of marijuana. They are people who battle REAL diseases and suffer REAL pain, despite what the people in ‘No On 2’ may assume with their vast experience.

Perhaps it is true that more effort should be taken to ensure the medical marijuana is legalized in a safer and more constructive environment. Perhaps the general public should make sure they are aware of the current amendment being put forth and the effect it will have on the community. However, scare-tactics and false information is probably not the best way to motivate positive improvement in a changing policy. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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