If you legally purchase, ingest, and enjoy marijuana, you are no longer allowed to purchase firearms. A recent ATF memo states that firearm dealers in states where medical marijuana is legal can no longer sell firearms or ammunition to registered users.
The new policy has come under fire from both marijuana and gun rights groups, saying that the ATF policy violates the second amendment rights of marijuana users.
Arthur Herbert, the ATF’s assistant director for enforcement programs and services, wrote in the memo:
“Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of, or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition… There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law.”
Forbes reports that Federal firearm licensees, or FFLs, are not allowed to sell guns to anyone who checks ‘yes’ when asked if they are a controlled substance user. The memo also states that FFLs can’t sell guns to a person if they have “reasonable cause to believe” that the person is a marijuana user.
Jon Svaren, a medical marijuana user and a 15-year Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 2009, told the Great Falls tribune:
“To take away my Second Amendment rights is contrary to everything I’ve ever fought for, and contrary to every oath of enlistment I’ve taken.”
Marijuana advocates are also upset about the ATF’s memo. Kate Cholewa, a board member of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, said:
“The cannabis issue has become representative of nation-wide concerns. Citizens are increasingly concerned that the government, rather than expressing the will of the citizens, now sees itself as separate from the citizens and is imposing their will upon the people.”
What do you think about the ATF’s memo? Should legal marijuana users lose their right to bear arms?