The ATF released clarification on May 30 to firearm owners after the passage of cannabis legalization in Minnesota, reminding them that until federal law changes, they no longer have a right to own or possess guns or ammunition, that is if they partake in smoking, eating, or vaping the newly legalized, devil’s lettuce.
If you were to ask a convicted felon if they have a legal right to possess a firearm, they would say no. They know this because they were informed by the court that because they were convicted of a felony, the Second Amendment no longer applies to them, and they know that if they’re caught with a firearm, or even ammunition, they face more time in prison for the illegal possession of a firearm, than for the new crime they are caught committing.
If you were to ask someone who has never been convicted of anything, but they carry a medical marijuana card or live in a state where cannabis is now legal and they like to partake occasionally, if they think that they have a right to own or possess a firearm, they would of course say yes, but they would be wrong.
I am really writing this as a public service announcement, in hopes that I don’t see more of my friends do more time in prison for gun charges, for possession of what they thought were legal guns, because it seems that the cannabis community does not understand that the federal government takes away your Second Amendment rights as soon as you pick up a joint, and it does not matter if the state you live in is legal or not, or if you are dying of cancer.
As soon as you toke, take a bong hit, smoke a j, eat a brownie, vaporize or otherwise ingest a Schedule 1 substance, you completely lose your right to own, possess, or handle any type of firearm or ammunition.
Or as the 9th Circuit pointed out in Wilson vs. Lynch:
“Turning to federal firearms provisions, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) no person ‘who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance’ may ‘possess . . . or . . . receive any firearm or ammunition.’ In addition, it is unlawful for ‘any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person . . . is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.'”
And it gets worse, because what the federal court defines as an “unlawful user” has nothing to do with your state laws, and everything to do with the Controlled Substances Act, and the fact that cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
State law is always superseded by federal law, when you go into a federal courtroom, state laws are inadmissible, a federal judge will not listen to the defendant argue that any state law supersedes the Constitution of the United States. So even when states pass medical cannabis laws that specifically do not exempt a medical cannabis user from any other rights, the medical cannabis user still loses their right to own and possess a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
So if you are a medical cannabis patient, or a casual user of cannabis, and you get caught by the federal government on any type of charge, your guns will be used against you to enhance your sentence and give you more time in federal prison.
I know many of you would say that policy is very hypocritical in light of how wineries are treated, or beer manufacturers, but we live in the age of hypocrisy and more than anything, I hate seeing good people get additional time added on their sentence for cannabis cultivation, simply because they were in possession of a firearm, even an antique firearm, that was passed down by a person’s dad and kept simply for sentimental reasons, the federal government will use that as a reason to give you additional time.
Prosecutors call them “enhancements” to a sentence, and they love to tack them on, as it gives them leverage against the defendant who is now facing an otherwise obscenely long period of time in prison, not for the cannabis per se, but because of the guns. Gun enhancements have been a trap used by cops and prosecutors in the war on drugs for decades. But back then, criminals understood the Rules of Engagement, and realized they were carrying an illegal firearm, but now, otherwise law-abiding citizens are at risk because they are doing something completely legal in the state they live in, but because of the conflict with federal laws, and the fact that the federal government IS the Second Amendment, their simple possession of firearms makes them criminals in the eyes of the federal government and courts.
We not only live in a hypocritical time, we live in an odd time in history where we as a society have forgotten that privacy was important and we traded our security for “Likes” on Instagram. I’m sure the police departments and federal government loves the fact that most people don’t need people snitching on them, because they’re snitching on themselves. I can’t tell you how many Instagram profiles I have seen with fields of cannabis or indoor grow rooms that look beautiful, and then pistols, or targets from the range. You know what I’m talking about, as you have seen it as well, and so do the police who monitor social media.
Now I say this not to sound like some conspiracy nut, or to make you paranoid, because I’m not, as everything I’m saying is factual. I am saying this because, a lot of people seem to pick and choose the laws that they want to abide by, as you may like the Second Amendment, but you may also like the fact that your state legalized cannabis and now you feel you have a right to grow or smoke, which you do. But you have to know that you’re giving up one right for another right, because if you keep your guns, the same government that has been lying to you about cannabis for most of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, will also use those guns against you in their court of law.
So in short, if you think that the Second Amendment guarantees you a right to bear arms, you are right. But you are giving up that right as soon as you pick up a cannabis product, medical or not, and consume it.
The ATF has updated form 4473 to include the question 11e, and if you lie on this form, you face a year in federal prison for simply lying, so please keep that in mind if you are trying to purchase a new gun, because if you lie, and they find out, and you are denied the purchase of the firearm, you will be charged for lying on the form in federal court.
“11e.: Are you an unlawful (remember, they’re talking federal laws and not state) user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medical or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
You may be wondering, how does this affect the firearms I already own? And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you no longer have a right to own and possess the guns or even the ammunition, if you are a medical marijuana card holder or even using cannabis recreationally in a legal state. If ever you do get arrested by the federal government, they will confiscate all of your guns because technically in their eyes, your rights to possess even ammunition, evaporated when you chose to break federal law and use a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
If you think this is hypocritical, you’re right. If you think that cannabis growers should have the same rights as people who produce alcohol or run a winery, you’re right again. But in order to be legal instead of just being right, you’re going to have to do something about the federal laws and demand equal rights on the federal level. You’re going to have to fight for the federal legalization of cannabis, just like we have had to fight for the legalization of cannabis on the state level. Because until you change the federal laws, you can’t point to a federal law, or the Second Amendment of the Constitution and say that it gives you freedom, while ignoring the other federal laws that say you don’t have it if you break any of their other laws.
So to all my friends who are proponents of the Second Amendment, please stop compromising you and your families freedom by advertising publicly the weapons you own on a Instagram or Facebook, neatly pictured next to your garden and its products. And while you’re thinking about all this, please take some time and call your representatives, and ask them for a solution to this legal conundrum, as we all have to demand equal rights or we will never see them.