Legal Cannabis and Firearms
The legalization of cannabis across the country has been swift over the past few years, and it looks like it might even accelerate. The feds, however, are moving just as swiftly with finding new ways to penalize users of cannabis in any way they can. Even though there are laws protecting individuals and companies from some federal action, other laws are being used to restrict the freedoms and rights of marijuana users.
For example, back in 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) sent an open letter to all Federal Firearms Licensees. The letter stated that several states have implemented medical marijuana programs and that licensees were being reminded that federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to someone that is an unlawful user or addicted to drugs that are on the list of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The letter concludes, “Therefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearm or ammunition.”
Hawaii and Firearms
Hawaii would not exist without the power of fire, nonetheless they are very strict on firearms. For example, Hawaii is the first state to require gun owners to register with the local police. But, they also have access to the medical marijuana program database of registered users. Recently, the police chief sent letters to individuals found on both databases, giving them 30 days to turn in their firearms. The letters came after a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that it does not violate a person’s second amendment right if they are prevented from buying a weapon because of marijuana use. So, law enforcement is comfortable enforcing such rulings.
Hawaii, in general, never liked guns, and is on the worst-states-for-gun-owners list, so their aggressive behavior towards gun owners is not surprising. Another State on that list is California. Does that mean we might be seeing the same tactic applied there? Probably not, but it is a tool that they can use anytime they need to –legally.
The only way out of that is to remove cannabis entirely from the CSA. At a minimum, it should be removed from Schedule I, but that might not solve the problem. The history of the CSA is a complete farce anyway and was a political tool used by the Nixon Administration to go after their enemies. It should just be repealed. Prohibition never works.
Portugal’s legalization of all drugs has been a great success, and it can happen here. It’s just common sense. Freedom is always the best answer.
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WeedUpdate from around the Country
California – San Luis Obispo (SLO) recently voted to not allow cannabis shops, nor will they allow outdoor personal plants, however, individuals can still grow their own plants indoors. SLO wants to go the SLOW route, and test out the waters first before full legalization.
After much heated debate, San Francisco gives the green light for recreational marijuana to begin sales on January 1st, 2018. That means that the 45 dispensaries that are already operating and delivering cannabis to medical marijuana patients can begin doing so for recreational customers.
Colorado – Colorado legalized cannabis in 2012, so they are at the forefront of implementing new laws after full-blown legalization. Fremont County, just passed some new ordinances regarding legal weed. Particularly, the cultivation of cannabis is not allowed on property that is frequented by non-owners, such as trailer parks. Furthermore, the county is limiting the amount of plants allowed to be grown in a home to 12 plants.
Michigan – We reported that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol successful garnered enough signatures to put legal weed on the ballot in 2018. But now there is a group opposed to the effort and is promising to fight the initiative of legalizing cannabis in the state. The road to freedom is never an easy one.
North Dakota – A ballot measure to legalize marijuana like alcohol has been submitted to the Secretary of State. Organizers are hoping to have the measure on the ballot in November of next year. Taking cues from California’s prop 64, people with criminal records relating to cannabis would have their records expunged.
New Hampshire – After rejecting recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over, a committee studying the taxation and regulation of cannabis like alcohol held several meetings with experts on the matter. A recent poll showed that 68% of Granite Stators favor cannabis legalization. The meeting was reported to be encouraging, albeit most of the committee were individuals opposed to legalization.
New York – A new poll found that 62% of New Yorkers favor taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. Residents are sick and tired of the prohibition of the miracle plant, let your legislator know your support here .
Ohio – Maumee city voted in October to allow medical cannabis, while Rossford city has become the latest city in Ohio to allow such businesses to operate. Also, Ohio approved 24 companies (growers) to participate in their medical marijuana program.