Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf said, “We’re not going to take their guns away.” This statement was in response to law enforcement agencies posting concerning messages to those in the state who have a medical marijuana card. The state police have posted a warning that medical marijuana cardholders in possession of firearms are in violation of federal law.
The Pennsylvania State Police website message for medical marijuana cardholders read, “It is unlawful for you to purchase a firearm under federal law and you will be denied during your Pennsylvania State Police background check…” It goes on to say, “It is unlawful under federal law for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to you obtaining a medical marijuana card…”
Because marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under federal law, users are banned from firearm ownership. The state’s legalization of marijuana does not supersede federal law and Pennsylvania will enforce this, denying purchases of firearms to marijuana cardholders.The governor, however, insists he will not be tracking down marijuana cardholders and confiscating their arms.
The laws on marijuana are outdated. Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol and smokers cannot overdose from lighting up, no matter how hard they may try. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ignores mountains of evidence on the issue and continues to claim the substance as dangerous as heroin.
Jeff Sessions has also declared he will be rescinding the prior regulations at the state department which did not allow the prosecution of individuals in marijuana-friendly states for violating federal marijuana laws. Sessions will allow United States Attorneys to prosecute at their will for the violation of federal statutes regarding marijuana. This puts many at risk who conform to state laws concerning marijuana use and possession, of criminal prosecution by the federal government.
The federal government allows millions of people who use controlled substances to own and use firearms. As long as the drugs are given to patients by doctors, virtually no prescription voids your second amendment rights. Marijuana is a schedule one drug under the United States Controlled Substance Act which considers the substance to have no acceptable medical use.
Recreational users of marijuana should not be subject to Second Amendment violations. The government does not restrict those who buy and drink alcohol on occasion from purchasing firearms. While it is illegal and unwise to be under the influence of alcohol while using a firearm, it does not mean that someone who had a drink last night is prohibited from carrying a firearm today. Placing such provisions on marijuana is unethical and violates the autonomy of the states.
The majority of America believes marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. Doing so would help keep the substance out of the hands of children and decriminalize vast swaths of the population. It would allow the government to bring the substance above board and out of the black market. Creating a legal retail industry of the marijuana market also creates thousands of jobs and brings in millions in tax revenue.
States like Pennsylvania have respected the will of the people and carried out their wishes, however, federal crackdowns may interfere with their ability to serve the masses that elected them. The country currently has 29 states with medical marijuana. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. all have laws allowing for the recreational use of marijuana. The majority of states have spoken, and it is abundantly clear, America wants to legalize marijuana.
As long as the federal government continues its failed war on marijuana, wasting billions of tax dollars in the process, states with conflicting laws on the substance are subject to federal interference. Many law-abiding gun owners of Pennsylvania are now criminalized by an overzealous attorney general. Sessions has little respect for the will of the people or the constitution, as he demonstrated in 2017 by expanding civil forfeiture laws which deprive citizens of property without due process in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The crackdown on gun ownership of those who possess marijuana cards has been a fear in the pro-Second Amendment community for years, and thanks to an unscrupulous attorney general, Jeff Sessions, their fears have been realized.