With more than half the nation having taken action to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, the federal government has deemed it necessary to step up and reiterative its ridiculous policy on cannabis consumers and gun ownership.
According to a report from Marijuana.com, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has revised the form a consumer fills out when buying a gun from a retail shop to include a brief disclaimer indicating that marijuana users have no right to pack heat.
“The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside,” the updated form reads.
The updated ATF form is set to take effect on January 16.
Since marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, it is considered “unlawful” for any user of a controlled substance “to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”
Of course, the cannabis community took it on the chin from Uncle Sam again earlier this year, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided to uphold the federal government’s ban on gun sales to those in possession of a medical marijuana card. The ruling impacted a number of states, including several where marijuana is now fully legal.
The court’s perpetuation of the ban stems from a lawsuit filed by a Nevada resident by the name of S. Rowan Wilson, who was refused service by a local gun shop owner back in 2011 because of the federal statute.
By the time the case was all said and done, Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff had determined that marijuana “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Although some federal lawmakers and even President-elect Donald Trump came out in protest of the court’s ruling, the folks over at the National Rifle Association (NRA) have yet to offer any comment.
Interestingly, a study published in 1998 found that alcohol is the most common substance associated with violence – not marijuana. A recent analysis of similar studies shows that “48 percent of homicide offenders were reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offense and 37 percent were intoxicated.”
Still marijuana remains a pariah.
It is almost guaranteed that the issue of marijuana users being denied their Second Amendment right is something that will be addressed in 2017 -- perhaps even giving way to yet another temporary rider attached to a federal spending bill.
Unfortunately, however, the gun situation is likely to go unrepaired until the federal government initiatives a policy to remove marijuana from the confines of the Controlled Substances Act.