Medical marijuana patients are being discriminated against because of the medicine they use. You can be a blatant drunk and no one will come for your legally acquired guns. However, this isn’t the case for medical marijuana users in several states, including Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients lose gun rights once they become a part of the state’s program. A police spokesman has warned patients that there would be consequences for deciding to keep their guns after becoming enrolled for medical marijuana.
Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program
Under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, patients with certain serious medical conditions are allowed to purchase and consume cannabis pills, concentrates, topicals, tinctures but no dry leaf or plant form. It’d be hard to argue that members of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program were using their medicine recreationally when it only comes in more medicinal forms. Despite this, Pennsylvania patients are being expected to give up their rights as if they’re no longer responsible members of society.
Since marijuana is still a schedule I substance, medical marijuana users in Pennsylvania will still be violating federal law. As a result, gun rights are one of several civil rights you could lose by registering to be a medical marijuana patient.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Patients Lose Gun Rights
If you’re a Pennsylvania resident enrolling in the medical marijuana program, firearm dealers will see that you’re a part of the program during your background check. At that point, they will be forced to turn you away. Even if that weren’t the case, firearm dealers are expected to deny sales to anyone they even suspect of consuming cannabis.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that even before the background check, customers must fill out a form from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The form asks about marijuana use. If you check off that you partake, the firearm dealer won’t be able to sell you a gun.
Ryan Tarkowski, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police said the state’s authorities are “not in the business of offering legal advice, but it might be a good idea to contact an attorney about how best to dispose of their firearms.”
“If you’re a cardholder, you’ll be flagged,” he added.
Andrew Sacks, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee finds the firearm rule to be hypocritical.
“You can be an opioid addict, or buy a bottle of rum, drink it and go to a store and buy one,” he said. “But a person who is registered as a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, and has a very small dosage of THC, can’t own a gun to protect themselves or hunt.”
Final Hit: Could Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Patients Lose Gun Rights?
It appears that any Pennsylvania medical marijuana patient that chooses to keep their firearm is putting themselves at risk. The irony is that alcoholics, opiate addict or even mental patients have their second amendment rights protected while medical patients and mild-mannered stoners are having their civil rights stripped away.