Before we all freak out, let me answer my own question: there’s a good reason why medical marijuana patients can’t have guns.
The thing is, though, it comes down to an issue of federal vs. state legislation — and completely bypasses the question of whether cannabis users can also be responsible firearm owners.
History Behind Why Gun Owners Cannot Use Medical Marijuana
Here’s the thing. Under federal law, cannabis is still de facto illegal. And no matter how many states legalize and tax adult use, marijuana use will still be a federal crime until the feds rewrite the laws.
Because the federal government gets the last say on who gets to own a gun, people must abide by all their other rules. That poses a problem in places like Colorado, where the state says it’s totally legal for adults to use cannabis, but the federal government disagrees.
There, a gun owner would be risking government seizure of his or her firearms by choosing to get any kind of permit to use marijuana. It sucks, but that’s how the laws are set up.
This February, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act was proposed in Congress by Colorado rep Jared Polis.
If it passes, there’s a distinct possibility that the feds would treat weed just like alcohol — which could include allowing gun owners to partake in a moderate, responsible manner.
Nobody wants a drunk person shooting a gun. A devil’s advocate might argue that if we’re going to limit the cannabis-related rights of gun owners, we may as well ban them from drinking alcohol, too.
But that’s not how everyone sees the issue. According to bearingarms.com, the state of California is known for utilizing federal agents to confiscate the guns of those who’ve flown in the face of existing prohibitions, like the medical marijuana/firearm rules.
It seems that for a while yet, gun owners will continue to be advised not to get their cannabis cards, whether they be recreational or medical.
What we can do is continue to point out the absurdity of these double standards, and strive to get them changed — for good.