9th Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Medical Marijuana Card Holders

legal-fundamentals-of-self-defense

Yes, this post is skirting that fine line of “Firearms Not Politics”, but it is certainly newsworthy, if not actually a surprise to anyone. So, lets try and keep this to the informational side of the topic, whatever your feeling on the topic–it is “gun news”.

The first I had heard of this topic was when I went to do the paperwork after the mid-July NFA change to Trusts. The new form to fill out actually has a question on it regarding marijuana use (and even explains the rationale; namely that it is still Federally illegal).

The crux of the matter here is that S. Rowan Wilson, a woman from Nevada attempted to buy a firearm in 2011. The problem is that she was a current holder of a medical marijuana card. And as a result, she was declined the purchase by the gun store because of the federal rule regarding the sale of firearms to illegal drug users; marijuana is illegal under federal law. Apparently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug, and (according to the Associated Press article) Congress

reasonably concluded that marijuana and other drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

S. Rowan Wilson filed a lawsuit against infringement of her Second Amendment rights, and as of today, the 9th District Court (which presides over Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) ruled that the ban does not violate the Second Amendment.

So, the take away here, attempting to stay away from the politics of it, is that you, as a gun owner/user/purchaser in the United States needs to be aware of the local and national laws that govern your purchases and participation with firearms.

Some References:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/31/appeals-court-upholds-ban-on-gun-sales-to-medical-marijuana-card-holders.html

http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Court-upholds-gun-ban-for-people-who-use-medical-9196134.php

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-court-upholds-ban-gun-sales-marijuana-card-41778814



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • allannon

    So…if the BATFE is known to engage in illegal behavior, by similar reasoning shouldn’t BATFE agents be prohibited from owning or carrying firearms?

    • Bill

      Amazingly enough, the agents who are convicted of crimes that attach disability are prohibited from possessing firearms.

      …but I suppose that this counts as the mandatory anti-ATF zinger…

    • Michel_T

      I was thinking Democrat party membership cards…

  • datimes

    This ruling is a bit surprising to me only because it is the most liberal of the Federal appellate courts with the highest percentage of decisions overruled by the Supreme Court.

    • Joseph Goins

      The Ninth Circuit is always fickle, but I think they got this one right.

    • Tim

      So why is that surprising? We’re talking guns here…

      • DIR911911 .

        and weed , something far less likely to cause violence than alcohol

        • Dan

          Alcohol doesn’t cause violence anymore than guns cause mass shootings. The notion that alcohol makes people violent is dumb. Violent people are violent.

          • AC97

            Yeah, the fact that bar fights are a thing totally has nothing at all to do with the fact that alcohol decreases inhibitions.

          • iksnilol

            alchohol decreases inhibitions.

            That sucker on the street who might’a tell you to do unspeakable things to your mother, he’ll usually stop at that when sober. But when drunk, he might also punch you in the face.

            Now I am not arguing for prohibition, but alchohol is a worse drug than the devil’s cabbage. Simply because it removes the mask of civility that most people have and then let their real personality shine through. For most people that isn’t bad (heck, in my case I went out and bought a pizza and shared with my friends, on my own accord) but for people who can be violent it makes them likely to kick somebodys teeth in.

      • datimes

        The articles title refers to ‘gun sales’, ‘marijuana’, and the ruling that’s why.

        • Tim

          The 9th circuit is the most liberal appeals court.
          The article pertains to a decision that would have made to easier for pot smokers to buy guns.
          Why would a liberal court decide any other way?

          • datimes

            Rereading the thread I misinterpreted the point of the your orininal reply. Considering the 9th is crazy lefties I was surprised they ruled against against dopers. My original thought was that the promotion of the drug culture trumped the gun issue. I was surprised they got it right.

  • DIR911911 .

    have they even heard of alcohol?

    • Alcohol isn’t banned by the Federal government.

      This ruling is consistent with Federal law (which is unusual for the 9th Circuit). Under Federal law marijuana is an illegal drug. Also under Federal law users of illegal drugs can not own guns. Thus if you have a medical marijuana card it is prima facie evidence that you are an illegal drug and can not own guns.

      All it takes to effectively reverse this ruling is at the federal level move marijuana down from schedule 1, or completely deschedule it.

      I should mention that many states prohibit the discharging or carrying of guns if you are under the influence of any drug, even legal ones. But that is a state level issue, I don’t think the federal law could get involved in that, just like it can’t dictate DUI laws.

      • Swarf

        Alcohol isn’t banned under Federal law.

        Yes, but the rationale is : “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated” to which the only sane response is What the hell are you on about, you twisted ninnies?

        • I didn’t write federal law. If it were up to me criminals would stay in jail until they are no longer a danger to society. And there would be no background checks.

          • DIR911911 .

            so a shoplifter could serve a life sentence because he might do it again? do you see how simple ideas are for simple minds

          • I don’t consider theft a danger to society.

          • DIR911911 .

            well then you’re going quite off topic because smoking weed isn’t a danger either

          • The issue here has to do with the background check system and federal laws. I didn’t write the laws, I just feel that they should be enforced until they are changed, so don’t complain to me.

            As far as not doing a background check being dangerous, I disagree. There are few crimes that background checks prevent. All they do is make it harder for the law abiding to get guns. And if the justice system did its job it would prevent dangerous criminals (which I define as violent offenders) from being released unless they show real signs of reformation.

        • DIR911911 .

          finally !! someone got what I was saying

      • BattleshipGrey

        I don’t know the specific federal law about drug users not owning guns, but shouldn’t it only be after a conviction?

        • Bill

          A medical marijuana card is probable cause to believe that someone is violating federal law. Look at it from the FFL’s perspective; would you want to risk your license, and potential federal charges to sell to someone who as much as states that they break a federal law?

          • A medical marijuana card would be referred to as prima facie evidence of a person’s marijuana usage. Meaning evidence that is considered true unless you disprove it.

          • Sir TuberKopf

            Troubling is the the fact that a gun buyer is required to testify against themselves, by law? It is a catch 22.

          • No not really. Getting a medical marijuana card is a choice.

            But I agree that the program is hypocritical if it is the state that is preventing the background check from going through. But it is likely from California and they have an irrational hatred of guns that they believe even allows them to violate the first amendment.

          • Sir TuberKopf

            Hmm, medical marijuana is a choice? My wife went through a two year battle with cancer, luckily surgery, radiation and hormone suppression medications, plus we caught it early make it appear to be in remission.

            I was however, in the position where I contemplated, what if my wife needed chemotherapy and became deathly ill and nauseous from it. The choice for many comes down to, give up treatment and die from cancer, try to take the chemotherapy, live with the nausea and vomiting, and potentially starve to death, or do whatever it takes to save my wife’s life?

            Sometimes it takes “having some skin in the game” to round ones horizons. Forgive me if I seem perturbed with liberal politicians who want to keep medical marijuana illegal so they can further a back door anti-gun agenda.

          • You know what happens when you assume?

            I’ve been through 9 rounds of chemotherapy, and it was with the old school drugs that are much worse side effects than the newer drugs. My experience was that modern antiemetic drugs actually work pretty well.

            Toward the end of the chemo I was also on a number of narcotic pain killers after they lopped off my leg. I didn’t touch a gun nor a drive car almost 3 months while I was taking those pain killers.

          • Sir TuberKopf

            Congratulations in winning against cancer, it’s an ugly beast.

            My wife can’t even take pain killers, they make her vomit, and the prescription anti nausea drugs don’t work well for her, thus my trepidation.

        • Because due process, they would need to prove that the recording exist, that they were legally obtained, and that you are actually doing said drugs.

          This likely case likely stems from the California DOJ probably has access to the medical marijuana list, and is denying people under the Federal law.

  • Joe Schmo

    I am not surprised. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, so it is federally illegal. The federal law overrides state law, so it is what it is.

    • Joseph Goins

      The federal law overrides state law

      That is only true if it marijuana crosses state/national borders. Otherwise, the federal government has no authority to ban it. That is the real reason why the government hasn’t sued the states where it is allowed.

      • Joe Schmo

        Didn’t the DEA raid dozens of dispensaries in Cali in 2005-2006? I’m no legal expert, but I know that the DEA has had issues in Cali before, and I’m assuming they have issues in the other states as well.

        But the real issue is that it is federally illegal for a person to use/possess any drugs and own a firearm. So regardless of the state legal status, she cannot own a gun due to federal regulations.

  • Isaac Newton

    On the bright side our Federalist system seems to be functioning rationally (tho maybe not justly)

  • SerArthurDayne

    OMG! THE STONERS WILL USE THEIR GUNS TO ROB ALL THE TACO BELLS AND PIZZA HUTS IN THE COUNTRY!!!! WE NEED COMMON-SENSE MUNCHIE-DEFENSE GUN LAWS IMMEDIATELY.

    • KestrelBike

      Gramma Sherry taking the edge off of her glaucoma or Plumber Gary smokin’ a joint after a long shift aren’t the problem, it’s the a-holes setting up grow houses that absolutely destroy rentals and turn neighborhoods bad in quite remarkable time… and this is in places that have legalized, like Colorado.

      I’m not saying that MJ should definitely be illegal, just saying that it isn’t the harmless plant that proponents make it out to be. There have been tangible drawbacks and problems in the places that have legalized it.

      • Bill

        I’m hoping that if marijuana is legalized it will kick the legs out from under the illegal growers, just as the repeal of Prohibition made alcohol trafficking less attractive to criminals. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of criminal activities regarding tobacco and alcohol tax stamps and stuff.

        • Warren Ellis

          Legalizing pot could possibly bring some money back to places like West Virginia actually.

        • Dan

          I think it will depend on price. If i pay more for pot going to a legal source i’ll probably just continue buying from the guy down the block. If you hammered people caught buying on the street and can deliver quality legal weed at a decent price then for sure it will undercut the illegal growers.

      • BearSlayer338

        Sounds like you really haven’t done any research on the plant then.
        I could understand you having a problem with drunks because they tend to get angry and violent,being a former LEO I’d rather deal with pot heads than drunks in any situation. If anything deserves to be illegal it is Alcohol,which is a far more dangerous drug.

        • toms

          Actually most of the long term users I know have not fared so well in life. I say this as a person with 20 years experience. Two of four have developed what I would call mild schizophrenia, the other two are rabid Bernie supporters who can’t hold down a real job. Lazy, slovenly, and eratic. It causes permanent brain function deficite. Marijuana is not some wonder drug. It has real problems associated with its chronic use. I don’t thin it should be illegal but it is definitely not good for you. Drugs and guns really don’t mix. Alcohol and drugs don’t mix either. I dont remember the last time I saw a drunk guy using a gun.

          • BearSlayer338

            Have some proof?
            Didn’t think so.

          • Dan

            I’m guessing you probably smoke. You act like any other stoner i have met that will defend pot to the death. Long term use will impact brain function. Smoking anything will cause lung damage. Is it worse than alcohol use? No. Is it a wonder drug capable of curing anything? Maybe if you believe hightimes magazine

          • Bill

            Finally, there it is: anyone who supports the legalization of pot must be a stoner. Great stereotype, just like all progun types are gap-toothed rednecks. I’m pro-legalization, am a cop, have never smoked it in my life, and don’t drink. So there.

          • FarmerB

            He didn’t say that. Stoners defend pot to the death is what he said. Probably fairly self-evident. Although even some very heavy drinkers don’t like what the booze does, somebody who overdoes something is hardly going to be critical of it (even compulsive exercisers)

          • David Harmon

            Long term marijuana use actually alters the structure of the brain making the pleasure centers larger than is stereotypical. This has the side effect of making them feel more depressed and seek validation to a greater extent.

            Basically it turns them into hedonists. Laziness is a trait of hedonists.

            All of the lazy caricatures are actually explained by this effect.

            I have had long term exposure to potheads in my life. I do not trust on any of them to be reliable. In fact the only time I do associate with them these days, is casually when I happen to run into them at events or they happen to be at a social gathering I was already attending. They say hi, and then run off like children to hide int eh corner of the yard to get high with the rest of the potheads.

            Probably the least socially responsible people I have ever known.

          • Squirreltakular

            Yeah, citation needed.

          • David Harmon

            I’m not paid to inform you. Take some time to do the research yourself, it was major study released last year.

          • Squirreltakular

            I’m not saying you’re wrong, but making a positive statement of fact about a controversial topic and not having the balls to link a peer-reviewed study to back up their argument is commonly a trait of liars, hedonists and cowards, at least in my experience.

            Every study done on long term effects, that I could find, was inconclusive, so long as they were examining adults who didn’t start use in childhood. Obviously, using any drug before your brain has had a chance to develop is going to have negative effects.

          • Bill

            Everything you said about habitual weed users could apply to habitual alcohol users, which, after all is a drug itself.

            I’ve seen PLENTY of drunks using guns.

        • KestrelBike

          … and you didn’t actually read my comment, where I’m talking about the general/greater effects to the society/economy at large, and not just what cannabis use does to a single individual.

          Because of the legalization, the *immediate* (barney it down for you: this may not be long term, especially if legalization was nation-wide and not just state-by-state where the effects can be exasperated by just a small jump in supply against a huge demand) effect in CO has been an increase in crime, not due to potheads with the munchies, but the gangs moving in to manufacture under the cover of legality, the increased vagrancy from stoner vagrants seeing CO as the promised land, the decreased productiveness from workers who have begun to overindulge, etc. etc. It all adds up. As a “former LEO”, you should know how small things can begin to add up in a neighborhood.

      • dml

        Isn’t medical marijuana different from the “buds”, you buy in Colo., Oregon, Washington?

        • Mark4931

          It depends on the variety of plant, some have more THC, and will give a high, and some will have more CBD, which is the compound that most medical studies are being done on.

        • Not in most states. High end dispensaries exist both in the medical states, and the recreational legal states.

          Ideally under medical marijuana you are under the guidance of doctors with proper dosages, methods of taking it other than smoking, and regular check ups. But few of them enforce this.

          Mostly program it is a once every year or so card renewal, and you can buy as much weed as you want within purchase limits and as long as you don’t have more than is legal at home. It is often just a back door method of legalization. Which I oppose, either legalize it or run a proper medical marijuana program but don’t trick voters saying it is about helping the sick when in reality it has so weak controls that any body and their brother can get it.

          I mean I can’t even buy more than a pack of an over the counter allergy medicine a week.

      • J0shua

        Like alcohal, among other things, but you are right in that its not the issue, except, that it kinda is, because if grandma taking the edge of her glaucoma gets her right to bear arms taken away without due process, because of a course of treatment licensed by her state, than it certainly is the issue here.

        • Bill

          Really, that’s your crisis? A granny with GLAUCOMA may not get a gun? You do understand that GLAUCOMA and guns don’t really mix?

  • Vitor Roma

    The absurdity of having a state able to outlaw a plant and punish even the people who use it the plant for medical purposes.

    • Dan

      So we good on cocain and heroine right? Both come from plants

      • AC97

        Both heroin and cocaine have medical uses and should be decriminalized.

        • Kivaari

          The base chemicals are lawful to use within medical guidelines.

          • Mystick

            They are not, specifically they are “Schedule 1”, which clears states “no legitimate medical use”.

          • Kivaari

            The base chemicals are used daily in medical care. Cociane is frequently used as are the pain killers in opium. That is why I said,
            “(L)awful to use within medical guidelines”. Eye surgery uses cocaine from simple ER procedures to more serious procedures. Opium provides pain relief to millions.

      • iksnilol

        If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital or had serious work done on a tooth you’ve probably gone through some opiates (IE morphine which comes from the same plant as heroin). They come from plants as well.

        There’s a reason it’s called abuse of drugs and not use of drugs.

      • PK

        Ever had dental work done while being administered local anesthesia? That’s cocaine and derivatives. How about post-surgery pain control? That’s going to be the same as heroin, originally a Bayer product like Aspirin, in that modern pain relievers are based on opium just as is heroin.

        So, yes. They should be fully legal in the same fashion which they are already partially legal, at the very least. Having the particular outcome of processing be legal or illegal based on how it was made, not how it is used, is absurd.

        • FarmerB

          I was thinking maybe you had cred until the Aspirin is based on heroin thing, but then realized it was easy to misinterprete: heroin was a Bayer product. So was Aspirin. Modern pain relievers are based on opium like molecules. In fact heroin used to be available medically over the counter and was openly sold and used for several decades.

          • PK

            Yes, Aspirin and Heroin were both Bayer products, NOT that Aspirin is chemically related to any opiate. Sorry for the confusion!

      • Vitor Roma

        Actually yes. I much prefer cocaine and heroin being sold by drug stores like many other opioids than by violent cartels. Anywah, there are many other uses to hemp/pot other than smoking (hemp is not even suited for smoking). Many children that suffered from heavy seizures are having a close t normal life after taking medicine made from this “evil plant”.

      • Blake

        Next time you try being a smartass you might want to read the entire comment you’re responding to, in this instance namely “…for medical purposes”. Makes you look pretty stupid whether you didn’t read that part or ignored it either way.

  • Don Ward

    I’d be more upset save for the fact that those who are pro-pot are generally anti-gun. Elections have consequences people.

    • Bill

      I’m for the legalization of marijuana. We waste too much money and resources for what for all intents and purposes is a pretty benign drug; it’s certainly no worse than alcohol or tobacco use.

      I’ve been to a lot of bar- and alcohol-fueled fights, the only trouble i’ve had with somebody baked on the demon weed is getting them to move.

      • billyoblivion

        You mean like the Coca plant, the Opium Poppy etc.?

        • Bill

          I’m right there with you – we’ve had issues with jimson weed (datura) abuse, and there’s an herbal supplement I’d never heard of called Kratom that can be abused and is about to be outlawed. Let’s not forget peyote and ‘shrooms. Prisons have to deal with lawsuits regarding the religious use of some plant-based hallucinogens.

  • It’s not important to get political here and that won’t change nor will the name. There are plenty of places that let people go wild on politics not here. It’s worked for years so no need to change.

    • Never change. Politics + Guns + Internet discussion = pure derp.

    • Paul White

      and thank goodness for that. There’s been a few gun blogs I quit reading because they became 90% politics, 10% gear/gun stuff.

      I do read political blogs as well, but when I want to read about guns I generally want to read about *guns*, not armchair internet lawyers opinions about regulations and the law.

  • Simon R.

    But no other medication prescriptions get this treatment? Absurd. Typical.

    • Bill

      Name another medically prescribed drug that is illegal under federal law.

    • Joseph Goins

      Until marijuana is issued at a pharmacy in a pill or liquid format with directions for specific dosages, it isn’t medicine. It is a stoner paradise, and people with the “medical marijuana license” get a free pass to indulge.

      • Vitor Roma

        LOL Goins, so something isn’t a medicine because the feds say it isn’t? Quite orwellian of you, the truth is whatever the Big G says.

        • Joseph Goins

          Go back and critically read what I wrote, jack. I said nothing about the government; that is solely my opinion.

          • Vitor Roma

            So your opinion is quite wrong, sorry. The plant in question has tons of medical properties, that’s a fact. It can also be used to get stoned, also a fact. But a lot of stuff in medicine can be much, much heavier and used to get high/stoned into oblivion pot and also way more addictive. The sins of pot are smaller than plenty of “legit by the FDA medicine” . Growing pot/hemp was a very legit business and agricultural practice til the most fascist government (FDR) banned it.

          • Joseph Goins

            Well, Mr. Perceptive. I guess you need to tell me what my opinion is because I don’t remember giving one. I said nothing about the plant’s medicinal qualities, nothing about other drugs, nothing about medicinal abuse, and nothing about the legal history of marijuana (which was the subject of my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago).

      • Zonk

        At some dispensaries it is provided in a syringe with a lab tested THC/CBD concentration and there are protocols describing the dosages and length of time required for healing benefits. Unfortunately, like you said, much of this information gets lost in the stoner paradise culture of medical marijuana to the point where people who got their card for recreation and have had it for years, don’t even know how marijuana can be used medically.

        Personally I don’t care if people “indulge” as long as the people with health issues can get help legally.

  • Bill

    I’m a liberal cop who’s all for the legalization of marijuana, but until it’s legal, this isn’t news, nor should it be a surprise, unless you count the fact that apparently she found a lawyer to take her case.

    I’d be fine treating the misuse of pot regarding guns, motor vehicles or anything else the same as alcohol or any prescribed medication.

    • Dan

      Yep agree with you 100% even though you are a dirty liberal hippy!!! Jk

      • randomswede

        My mental image of a hippy motorcycle cop is… entertaining.
        “Are you aware. (waits for answer)”
        “… OK, you are free to go, but drive carefully there’s some like really heavy lay lines around these parts.”

  • RadicalizedModerate

    This will be used to prevent everyone with any kind of psych meds from owning guns – anti-depressants, everything!

    • Bill

      No. Those are legal. Take a chill pill and relax.

      • M-dasher

        but…but….da gubment be taking mah guns

        • Bill

          Drug-induced paranoia, obviously. 😉

      • Dan

        There has been instances of legislation targeting people on psych meds. N.A.M.I has been pretty active denouncing such legislation. In my state at least

        • Bill

          My biggest fear after Newtown wasn’t anti-gun legislation, it was a backlash against the mentally ill that would (further) stigmatize them and cause a reluctance to seek out treatment.

  • M-dasher

    whether you agree with it or not…..the laws are pretty clear here.

    FEDERALLY, the use of marijuana is still illegal…….

    and FEDERALLY, the use of illegal drugs is grounds for them to deny you a gun…..

    nothing terribly shocking here.

    • nadnerbus

      This is something that drives me crazy. It is illegal for me to manufacture a Machine gun. If California passes a law saying, no, go ahead, I will still be thrown in prison by the ATF. This stuff with weed is just plain lawlessness. And I WANT to see it legalized.

    • J0shua

      Unconstitutional laws aren’t really laws, its tyranny defined.

    • Jason Patnoude

      the problem here is – a vet.. uses MM for spine pain… and he can’t buy a gun or a ccw… but a person on Oxycodin, Morphine,… prozac can.. it’s wrong.. we don’t choose freedoms based on meds

  • n0truscotsman

    Then users wont get medical marijuana cards any more. Simple.

    9th circuit can go to hell. So can the legislators that continuously pander to the drug war.

  • LazyReader

    They would sue, but do you really picture them getting off the couch showing initiative

  • zaqzilla

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand I dislike & distrust potheads. On the other hand I can’t abide someone who has not been convicted of a crime or ruled mentally incompetent having their rights taken from them.

    • Joseph Goins

      Respectfully, why do you agree with potheads having weapons but not criminals and mentally ill?

      Criminals and the mentally ill never have their rights taken from them when they go to court. All a court says is treatment can be forced (for the mentally ill) and that the convicted lose their right of free movement by mandating prison.

      Laws, not the conviction itself, say in both cases that simply having a conviction is enough to take away a rights without going back to court specifically to address the issue of removing rights.

      Therefore because the law says it is allowed to strip rights away from someone without going to court (and you approve of that), why do you not support potheads from losing their rights without going to court?

      • zaqzilla

        As I said I’m conflicted. Pot isn’t the benign panacea that some people bill it as. In addition to causing paranoia. It can exacerbate mental illness, and cause long term psychological problems with prolonged use.

        However giving anyone the power to take away someone’s God given, constitutionally ensured, rights makes me nervous. Especially when it seems to be without redress or due process.

        I have no problem with a felon who has been convicted by a jury of their peers being barred from owning a firearm. After all if a person went to prison for a violent crime they have shown that they have a propensity for committing violent crimes.

        On the mental illness point. I admit I am largely ignorant on the legal processes that it takes to get someone ruled mentally incompetent. Though no double you would agree that someone who is a danger to themselves or others, such as David Berkowitz, Adam Lanza, or James Holmes, shouldn’t be allowed access to arms. The question of how we rule someone to have that level of mental illness is something that I don’t feel truly qualified to comment on.

        Ultimately any authority we give to our government has the possibility for abuse. For example, I wouldn’t trust the current Surgeon General to be the arbiter of wether people are allowed to own firearms, based on his previous express views.

  • Martin M

    As it should be. This whole ‘medical’ label is dubious at best. It doesn’t cure anything (despite it’s advocates promoting it as some sort of panacea). It isn’t even metabolized by the body (unlike alcohol). The whole premise of a state voting a substance to be a legal pharmaceutical is just beyond bizarre.

    Furthermore, the commercial growth, distribution, and sale of this substance should remain illegal. If an individual wishes to consume it, then they should manage a potted plant. If they cannot be bothered with that they should embark on other endeavors. Commercialization of marijuana and it’s promotion for recreational use completely negates it’s claim to be medicine. The only people who take medication for recreational use are people with substance abuse problems.

    • Joseph Goins

      Until marijuana is issued at a pharmacy in a pill or liquid format with directions for specific dosages and refill requirements, it isn’t medicine and should be banned.

      • BearSlayer338

        Or maybe you two should do some research on the plant instead of quoting decades of propaganda on the subject.

        • Joseph Goins

          What we said has nothing to do with the plant. It has everything to do with the faulty mentally of its users.

          • BearSlayer338

            What do you have to lose are you afraid of learning new information or what? I don’t know about you but I use the internet as an endless source of information. My LEO experiences say otherwise,you can claim whatever you think you know about the mentality of the users but you really don’t know squat and won’t fool anyone except other people that are also clueless on the subject.
            My worse experience with a pothead was some guy that couldn’t remember how to get home(on foot).My worse exp. with a drunk almost got me and few other officers killed.
            Don’t you dare tell me Alcohol is less dangerous than Cannabis(Marijuana),anyone that says so has little experience with either or dealing with its users.

          • Joseph Goins

            Feeling paranoid? No one on this thread has said or insinuated that “Alcohol is less dangerous than Cannabis.”

            I have no problem with legalizing THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). I have a problem with the mentality of users who say it’s “medicine” yet act like drug addicts (bongs, pipes, vapes, joints, blunts, etc.) “Medicine” comes in pills or liquids with specific dosages, daily allotments, prescriptions, and refill requirements. At present, that does not exist with marijuana like it does with every pharmaceutical. It should not be considered “medicine” by any rational person at this point in time.

            Just FYI: my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago was on the history of the drug war in America. I think I know a thing or two this.

          • Martin M

            Precisely, Joseph. California prop 215 was nothing more than a falsely perpetuated scheme. What’s next? Hey, let’s have a vote on medicinal toads!
            On a social note, decriminalization of consumption (not distribution) would likely have a positive effect. If the FDA does the research and changes the designation then so be it. Until then, ‘medical’ marijuana and the prescriptions written for it’s use is a lie.

          • Joseph Goins

            Just remember: there are no prescriptions for marijuana. It is a blank check signed off on by a doctor.

          • Martin M

            I agree. It’s a lie. It’s a permission slip to break the law.

          • Dan

            How dare you insult his wonder plant. His LEO experience tells him it’s safe. He has never seen one stoner stab another stoner because he swore he was skimming off his baggy. He has seen young kids with drug and alcohol problems suffer through what would be simple stuff for their drug/alcohol free peers but maybe my 20yrs of working and seeing that are just a dream. Fyi the stoner who stabbed the other stoner were friends of mine. Twin brothers.
            I don’t think it needs to be illegal but it is and until it isn’t that is what it is.

          • Zonk

            I love hearing from people that demonize the very plant that one day could save them from a very unpleasant health issue. Search high dose oral consumption of marijuana oil if you want to cure your ignorance.

          • Joseph Goins

            Who demonized the plant? Not me. I only talked about addicts and their behavior. I’m guessing though that you indulge?

        • Martin M

          I’m all for legitimate research. What I do see, however, isn’t promising. What is known for a fact is that the average person can consume an alcoholic beverage a day with no adverse health effects or loss of judgement.

      • AC97

        Like alcohol?

        • Joseph Goins

          Alcohol isn’t medicine.

          • AC97

            Then why isn’t it banned?

          • BearSlayer338

            Probably because its more socially acceptable at the moment.

          • AC97

            And the fact that the Prohibition was a failure of epic proportions, just like the Drug War.

          • BearSlayer338

            Oh like that drug war?
            You know that one we keep fighting and losing.

          • AC97

            That’s the one.

          • Dan

            Losing? We are so close to winning!!!! Just a few billion in funding this year and probably next year and well just keep increasing that and we’ll have this thing in the bag.

          • AC97

            Are you being sarcastic?

          • Martin M

            Prohibition was a social experiment with an understandable origin. Alcohol was being consumed at an alarming rate and with it came social issues. The legislation was a failure not only in that it reduced alcohol consumption, but it fueled criminal enterprises.

          • AC97

            “The legislation was a failure not only in that it reduced alcohol consumption, but it fueled criminal enterprises.”

            Sound familiar?

          • Joseph Goins

            Because people still used it when it was banned. What’s your point?

          • AC97

            That’s exactly my point.

          • Joseph Goins

            As I have said for years, I am for it’s legalization as a regulated medical product. I am against people calling it “medicine” because it really isn’t in it’s current form.

            When these people go to the doctor, he gives them a blank check to buy as much as they want with absolutely no checks and balances. Yet when I ask for more vicodin for a service-related injury, I am given a specific dosage, number of pills, and number of refills before I have to go back to the doctor and ask for more.

          • Creepermoss

            That’s likely due to the potential lethality of that substance compared to Marijuana. To kill yourself via marijuana, you need no less than 12 pounds, dropped from a height greater than 30 feet.

            There has never been a recorded case of a fatal MJ overdose, so allowing a patient to regulate their own dosage isn’t as dangerous as letting a pain pill addict do the same.

          • Martin M

            Exactly. Neither is red meat or sugar, but the FDA regulates them as well.

        • Martin M

          The FDA and ATF both regulate alcohol. The science behind alcohol is well known and proven. Alcohol is metabolized, whereas THC is excreted as a foreign substance.

          So, basically, marijuana is nothing like alcohol. Lines and distinctions are drawn for a reason.

          • AC97

            What are you even getting at? I was playing devil’s advocate and saying that if we’re going to be going around justifying something being banned just because “it has no medicinal value”, then why not ban alcohol, a substance with a long history of getting people killed both directly and indirectly, again?

          • Martin M

            I have not called for a ban. I do, however, support the Federal position that it isn’t medicine. As such, users are breaking the law and consuming a substance that legally precludes them from firearm ownership.

      • DC

        Yes, unless you take your medication in a format Joseph Goins is comfortable with it should be banned and you should be jailed if you are caught using it in the comfort of your own home.

  • Joseph Goins

    Legally, state law could expand the right beyond that given by the US Constitution so long as the gun was manufactured inside the state it was purchased and did not leave that state.

  • TJbrena

    It makes sense, but the time we waste chasing after marijuana users, the money we spend catching them, and the money and space we spend housing them, could be better spent on other stuff.

    Like education, infrastructure, or space exploration.

    • iksnilol

      But private prisons are for profit. Somebody would’a lose a ton of money if there weren’t people getting double digits for harmless stuff.

      • PK

        Many host states are contractually obligated to pay for a set number of prison residents, meaning that if the beds are empty, they still pay as though they were full – plus a fine specified in the contract.

        The beds don’t go empty.

        • iksnilol

          they’re obligated to pay for a set amount. But what if the prison exceeds the set amount? Then they get paid even more.

  • mikee

    Legalities not withstanding. Alcohol and guns don’t mix and neither do drugs and guns.

    • marathag

      So you would be OK for a new checkbox for any Alcohol use in the 4473?

      • mikee

        Please explain?

        • marathag

          If they don’t mix, it should be tracked, and if you admit to even drinking a drop, you obviously can’t be trusted with firearms at any time- just like weed.

          • mikee

            What are you talking about? If you want a drink have it after the shoot. How about some common sense! You’re pretty wound up or are you normally on edge like this?

          • marathag

            Wasn’t my claim that they don’t mix. But if they don’t, should be treated the same.

          • mikee

            Agreed!

  • Gregory

    I do not agree with the marijuana use or the sale of it due to the fact that it is a violation of federal law. Marijuana is a gateway drug as well. However, I also do not agree with the BATF. Since when do we assume that someone with a medical marijuana card is actually using the drug. Since when did it become the accused person’s burden of proof to show he or she is not engaging in illegal activities. The burden of proof falls upon the government. In this case the people with the cards are being denied due process.

    • Joseph Goins

      There are many things wrong with what you said:

      “I do not agree with the marijuana use or the sale of it due to the fact that it is a violation of federal law.”
      The reason why the federal government isn’t going after manufacturers, sellers, and users in states where it is legal (and the states themselves for that matter) is because they have no authority to regulate (and thereby, ban) intrastate commerce. That is why federal law now prohibits enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act as it relates to regulated marijuana in states where it is lawful. (There has been a recent court case about this very issue. See Link #1.)

      “Marijuana is a gateway drug as well.”
      This has been disproven numerous times over. It is the result of horrible statistics that were reverse engineered. See Links #2 and #3 in addition to looking at more loose countries like The Netherlands that don’t have a “hard drug” problem.

      “Since when do we assume that someone with a medical marijuana card is actually using the drug. Since when did it become the accused person’s burden of proof to show he or she is not engaging in illegal activities. The burden of proof falls upon the government. In this case the people with the cards are being denied due process.”

      It is prima facie evidence of marijuana use, dude. Your argument is as stupid as stupid as one I (a college professor) have with my students:

      Me: “I found this cheat sheet next to you during the test.”
      Student: “Yeah, so what?”
      Me: “I have to give you zero.”
      Student:
      “But did you see me using it?”

      Link #1: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts. gov/datastore/opinions/2016/08/16/15-10117.pdf

      Link #2: http://archpsyc.jamanetwork . com/article.aspx?articleid=481611 “there is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”

      Link #3: http://www . rand . org/pubs/research_briefs/RB6010.html “the harms of marijuana use can no longer be viewed as necessarily including an expansion of hard-drug use and its associated harms.”

    • iksnilol

      Uh, “gateway drug” is a myth.

      • Joseph Goins

        Marijuana is addictive, but isn’t as common as people believe. The rate of addiction about 6-17% of users. It is still lowers than the average addiction rate of 81-92% of nicotine users. (The studies below don’t use the same definition and may include varying levels of dependence and addiction.)

        Lopez-Quintero C, Pérez de los Cobos J, Hasin DS, et al. Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011.

        Anthony JC. The epidemiology of cannabis dependence. In: Roffman RA, Stephens RS, eds. Cannabis Dependence: Its Nature, Consequences and Treatment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2006.

        Hall WD, Pacula RL. Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2003.

  • TechnoTriticale

    What this article really needed to be about was indeed not political, but perhaps procedural (like the articles on NFA paperwork, trusts, etc.)

    Anyone one holding a MedMary card, or on record of having a prescription (presuming that such exist), has a potentially serious problem if they desire to become a firearms owner.

    If folks in that situation have options, they need to know what they are.

    And sure, if the useless WoD is ended, at least for cannabis, this particular issue might go away, but anyone who has made this records faux pas can’t count on that anytime soon.

  • Tim

    Umm, Tom, that’s the 9th Circuit Court in San Fran. The District Courts are where the appeals come from. Apparently, this gal started the case somewhere and lost. Then lost again.

    I live in a 9th circuit state with mmj and my local auction house/ffl told me they wouldn’t sell to me if I showed them a mmj card several years ago. Guess they were being extra cautious. BTW I don’t have one.

    Interesting because I think two 9th states have recreational weed (WA & OR) already, and two more (CA & AZ) are voting on it in November. Unless there’s a paper trail for rec weed (they may proof you for age and/or out of staters can’t buy as much), this is another loophole in the court decision. Don’t know if there are forms to buy rec weed? Due to the Fed banking laws, it’s a cash business so you may not even get a receipt. Many CCW states don’t have to phone in the NICS sheet, so let your conscience be your guide.
    Frankly, knowing how tangled up the bureaucratic paper mill is, I doubt the NICS system would even make a connection to a state mmj or rec weed document.

    • wysoft

      I live in Washington and have been to several recreational mj shops. They check your ID and only accept cash.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    In the 1968 gun laws they banned convicted felons from gun ownership. There were in those days just a few very violent crimes that were felonies.

    Anti gun politicians have expanded that law, not by changing the gun law, but by recatigorizing other lesser crimes as felonies. This is gun control by incrementalism.

    A certain politician made great promises about legalizing medical marijuana in 2008, I suspect it was realized that millions of Americans who were banned from owning firearms would have their rights restored if marijuana was decriminalized on a federal level, thus that individual reneged on that campaign promise.

    Amazingly now any person with a medical issue, who gets a prescription for Marijuana, will find their medical records opened, and their civil rights removed as though they were convicted of a felony.

    This court findings are troubling. It’s more incrementalism and color of law civil rights abuses.

    • Don

      Come on now, I’m not a fan at all of the guy in office now, but his stance on this hasn’t changed. Why do you think he is giving clemency to so many felons, more than any president in ages. Quit feeding the rumor mill, you’re being as much of an idiot as they are for doing it…

      • Sir TuberKopf

        Not trying to get into a political argument, but everything I said can easily be found and verified on the web.

        Be that as it may, I’d rather not distract from my point about incremental gun laws, that were written so they could be expanded without voters even realizing they have been hood-winked and stripped of their 2nd rights. There are now laws that can strip you of your right to firearms if you so much as make a serious clerical error on government forms or your taxes. Hardly the kind of violent crime most Americans think gun laws were written to protect them from.

        • SpartacusKhan

          Well said.

  • Dave Parks

    From form 4473-1:

    “11.e Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

    So for those folks crying double standard of pot vs alcohol, alcoholics aren’t, strictly speaking, legally allowed to purchase firearms (if you define alcoholism as an addiction).

    Speaking of addiction, the “or addicted to” language is troubling, given the dictionary definition of “addicted”:

    “physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects”

    Applied to “any other controlled substance” and the fact that any prescription medication is by definition a controlled substance, it would be pretty easy to argue that anyone taking any prescription is legally barred from purchasing a firearm. If you can stop taking your prescription “without incurring adverse effects,” why are you still taking it?

    The legal definition of “addicted” is a bit less far reaching and generally requires there to be a lack of medical merit and some sort of harm caused by continuous use of whatever substance is in question. This would preclude, say, people from taking psychiatric prescriptions from being legally defined as “addicted,” but tobacco smokers are out of luck (because nicotine is an addictive stimulant, and smoking causes cancer).

    This is, of course, absurd. What benign activities can you think of that would fit the literal reading of question 11.e ?

  • dml

    Are we talking Medical Marijuana?

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      Yes?

      • dml

        I’m not paranoid but I’m seeing a way to slowly take guns from people from the Social Security loophole, Medical Marijuana, …people who don’t like Hillary. Where is George Washington when we need him? He did warn us of this….check your history.

  • jerry young

    This is exactly why no matter how bad of shape I’m in I would never use marijuana or hold a medical marijuana card, I knew that the federal government would try to take away your rights if you use marijuana whether you’re within the state laws or not even if the federal government would allow it’s use they would still see a this as a way to take guns away from legally armed citizens, besides that I don’t handle firearms when using alcohol in any amount and feel the same about firearms and marijuana use they don’t go together

    • DC

      How many beers you drink this weekend?

      • jerry young

        If you must know I go through less than a 12 pack in a year, I gave up the drinking and partying well over 20 years ago but do enjoy an occasional beer so to answer your question I had 1 beer on Monday while I cooked dinner on the grill that put me at 7 for the year

  • MAD_HATER

    You can try to rationalize your chemical dependency and criminal behavior by making false comparisons, spouting sketchy political and social theories, and relying on quack science. Then go back to your loser lifestyle because facing your miserable and meaningless existance is unbearable without an artificial high. You were probably gonna suicide with that gun, anyway.

  • TeaPartyPagan

    The question before the court should have read, “Can the Federal Government dis-enfranchise a citizen who, while conscientiously obeying a State law, violates a Federal Law.” This ruling doesn’t just impact “marijuana cardholders”, but any citizen obeying the law of his State, nullifying a Federal law. Per this ruling, they are in fact breaking a Federal law, and subject to Federal punishment without due process. Under this ruling, it might be possible to suspend ANY civil right in such a case. This ruling is grave cause for concern.

  • jay

    So, get a medical marijuana card, no longer can buy a firearm. Think somebody is keeping records? Yep! Checking their lists? Think the states will update all these State and Federal Databases? It’s only a matter of time before all the “Lists” are connected, and available to all state and federal law enforcement. Marijuana card, Mental Health, Criminal (NIC). Then he’ll check them twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice, and you can’t own any firearms, anymore!!!!!! (Sung to the Santa Claus is coming to town song) ;-}

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Holy moly! After reading through all these comments an eight ball would sure be good right now.

  • JR

    Hopefully this will go to the SCOTUS and will be overturned. The judge that ruled on this must be on pharmaceuticals or have stock in the companies!

  • nick

    well…ok, a Canadian perspective…Up here, we have medical M . dispensed to all kinds of folks, with various ailments, not the least being PTSD, so many first responders get this, as well as members of our Armed Forces ( as you know, PTSD has many forms, so just by having it , does not necessarily remove you from armed service or, combat arms activities)
    What I am curious about ( and this is a genuine question) is that I hear that Americans and Canadians who are on No Fly lists, can in fact, buy firearms and ammo. That to me is cause for greater concern !
    enjoy the day everyone !
    Nick

    • Creepermoss

      You’re worried that the government can’t put your name on a list and steal your rights without due process or even evidence of a crime? Good. That’s how it should be in any place that considers itself to be free.

  • Zonk

    I understand your issues with “Medical Marijuana” but you were stating that, “Medicine comes in pills or liquids with specific dosages, daily
    allotments, prescriptions, and refill requirements. At present, that
    does not exist with marijuana like it does with every pharmaceutical.” and I was pointing out what you said is not exactly true. It does come in dosages and daily allotments but that method of distribution/delivery might only make up a small portion of the market. Saying there are no protocols and properly dosed products is partially incorrect and paints the whole medical marijuana industry as irresponsible.

  • Kivaari

    I’ve been saying this for years. The pro-pot, especially the recreational states users in Washington and Colorado, really get heated over this LAW. I am so glad I am no longer engaged in the gun business, just so I don’t have to listen to the complaining customers. “BUT, BUT it’s legal in Washington”.

  • FarmerB

    Funny that “real medicine” take $2B and 10 years to get approved, and yet medicinal pot is “real medicine” cause a few hippies say “it’s awesome man!!” I don’t have problems wiith people taking a bit of pot, I’ve had a few cones in my time, but there a few clear facts to me: 1) medical pot is a facade to get around international and national dope laws/conventions and is about as credible as anti-vax whackos and 2) doing s lot of strong dope long term seriously screws with your brain (like overdoing a lot of other things) and 3) comparing it to alcohol is pointless unles you live under Sharia law. It’s almost a Fudd argument, don’t take my double barreled shotgun cause pump guns are worse.

    • Joseph Goins

      That’s my point. It isn’t there yet and is not legitimate medicine.

  • Carl Sagan died a good number of years ago.

  • Jim Thatcher

    200 or so comments and yet NO ONE has pointed out that it took a constitutional amendment to make alcohol illegal but the govt has the right to just decide that some other intoxicant is or isnt illegal? Regardless of the fact that so many of the drugs that the FDA says are safe often turn out to be otherwise.

    • Jim Thatcher

      The bottom line is both prohibition and the drug war both serve one purpose, to expand fed power and scope. Prohibition gave us the revenuers (treasury agents) that became the much despised BATFE, and the war on drugs gave us the DEA, both of whom are willing to trample your constitutional rights to enforce their arbitrary mandates.

  • Lee Chee

    I’m pretty sure i shoot 1 moa after a nicely crafted joint and am no less inclined to create a situation involving a firearm related crime or death. most likely i think id probably be happier after 30 rounds and some sushi then a federal kidnapping

  • MAD_HATER

    A tax dodger, convicted felon, and 9/11 truther are your heroes? Awesome. Thank you for proving my point.

  • Disarmed in CA

    The only “regulating” the gov should be doing regarding drugs and firearms is standardizing measurements, so a .38 Special from ammo manufacturer A fits in the same gun a .38 Special from ammo mfg B does. Otherwise 2A = hands off the guns.

  • Cymond

    Heck, I ain’t no legal scholar, but doesn’t this all relate back to Wickard v. Filiburn?

    As I understand it, anything that even affects interstate commerce is deemed to fall under the commerce clause.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

    • Joseph Goins

      Wickard was the most cited precedent for Gonzales. The problem is that the justices were too liberal with their application of the Commerce Clause in a way that justifies any use of commerce by saying that impacts the national economy. Wickard has also been used as a precedent for National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (Obamacare’s individual mandate is legal).

  • Joseph Von Banda

    So if i get a medical card next week when i visit LA I wont be approved to buy a firearm ever again. Con someone please clarify.

  • Joseph Von Banda

    Yet i can have a prescription for oxycotton which is a much dangerous drug and effects the behaivor of an individual much more than thc and buy all the firearms i want

  • Anon E. Maus

    They are infringing on her rights, she should take it all the way to the Supreme Court.