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Federal Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Marijuana Patients

Medical Marijuana Gun Laws

Although each state is permitted to legalize marijuana use, medical marijuana cardholders aren’t permitted to own a gun for personal protection because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the ban following a hearing on August 31, ruling that the federal ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana cardholders doesn’t violate the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by S. Rowan Wilson of Nevada, according to reports by NBC News. She was denied the purchase of a gun for personal protection in 2011 and is a medical marijuana cardholder. The federal government has a ban in place disallowing the issuance of firearms to illegal drug users.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that someone with a medical marijuana card can be assumed as a user of the drug.

The vote was unanimous, 3-0 in favor of upholding the ban. Congress and the court decided that drug use, including marijuana use, “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

Chaz Rainey, attorney for Ms. Wilson, said, “We live in a world where having a medical marijuana card is enough to say you don’t get a gun, but if you’re on the no-fly list, your constitutional right is still protected.”

Paul Armento, deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said, “Responsible adults who use cannabis in a manner that is compliant with the laws of their states ought to receive the same legal rights and protections as other citizens.”

The ruling only applies to the nine states in the 9th Circuit Court’s jurisdiction, which are those along the Western United States.