Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Doctor Who Uses Medical Marijuana Sues After Being Denied a Gun

A Philadelphia doctor is contending that his Constitutional right to bear arms is being violated.

Doctor Who Uses Medical Marijuana Sues After Being Denied a Gun
Getty Images

A Pennsylvania doctor and medical marijuana patient is suing for his right to own a gun. Dr. Matthew Roman, who practices medicine in Philadelphia, maintains that his Second and Fifth Amendment rights were violated when he was denied the right to purchase a gun. The suit against the U.S. Department of Justice and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Thursday.

In April, Roman went to a South Philadelphia licensed gun dealer to purchase a revolver for self-defense. But when the dealer asked Roman if he used cannabis and he replied affirmatively, his purchase was denied, according to attorney John Weston.

“The doc answered that question truthfully,” said Weston. “And the dealer said ‘I can’t sell you a gun’.”

A federal law passed at the beginning of the War on Drugs in 1968 prohibits anyone who uses cannabis from using or owning a firearm. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the law does not violate Second Amendment guarantees to the right to bear arms.

Weston said that the court may try to reject the lawsuit, but believes it may be heard because of the tight restrictions governing Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.

“Under the medical marijuana act in Pennsylvania, it’s my view that the prohibition doesn’t apply at all. You’re only prevented from purchasing a firearm if you’re an unlawful user of, or addicted to a controlled substance. Pennsylvania statute defines an unlawful user as someone who does it without a recommendation from a doctor,” Weston said. “Under state law, it seems to us that a medical marijuana patient with a state-issued card is not an unlawful user of a controlled substance. That statute should not apply at all.”

Patient Names Removed from Police Database

In January, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that it would no longer provide the names of medical marijuana patients to law enforcement agencies. The agency had originally enacted a policy to add the names of registered medical marijuana patients to a law enforcement database in order to provide them with protection from prosecution of charges for possession of marijuana. But the department reversed course when it realized that the information could be used to deny medical marijuana patients their right to own a firearm.

In a statement announcing the change of policy, the health department called on the federal government to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Pennsylvania, and the other 28 states where medical marijuana is legal, need the federal government to recognize what voters and bipartisan legislatures across the nation have overwhelmingly called for, and that is that medical marijuana must be rescheduled as a Schedule II medication,” the statement read.

Attorney Andrew Sacks, the co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee, said as the state was rolling out its medicinal cannabis program last year that prohibiting patients from gun ownership is unfair.

“You can be an opioid addict, or buy a bottle of rum, drink it and go to a store and buy one,” Sacks 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.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.


You May Also Like


Thomas Jefferson University is launching a study of medical marijuana.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, states are reconsidering certain cannabis business regulations.


For the first time, the Philadelphia Flower Show will provide information about our favorite flower.


Rep. Jake Wheatley tries again, despite Republican opposition.


Liv Vasquez won her lawsuit against an abusive employer in the cannabis space. Now she's helping others find their voice.


Liv Vasquez's legal victory could inspire more people to take a stand against harassment in the weed workplace.


Can you continue to own a gun and buy legal cannabis in Illinois?


In Pennsylvania, there are about 65,000 patient visits to dispensaries each week, and the average purchase is around $120.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!