The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Wednesday that a ban prohibiting individuals with medical marijuana cards from purchasing firearms does not infringe on their second amendment rights. The ruling is a response to a lawsuit filed by a Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson in 2011 after she was unable to purchase a weapon for self-defense due to a federal ban on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users. Wilson claims she obtained the card as a gesture of support for marijuana legalization. Chaz Rainey her attorney and plans to appeal the decision.
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…”
The initial lawsuit was filed in Nevada back in 2011, more than a decade after Nevada decriminalized marijuana and legalized medical marijuana.
The 9th Circuit Court and States Law
This ruling calls to attention some major issues with marijuana regulation in the United States. The court that served this verdict has jurisdiction over the western half of the United States, a region that accounts for roughly 20% of the country’s population. It’s also which contains more than half of the states that allow recreational marijuana. In fact, the only district overseen by the 9th court without any marijuana legalization is Idaho.
Those laws are in conflict with the federal government’s stance on marijuana, though that attitude might be loosening now that it’s clear marijuana is big business. After all, the FDA approved the first marijuana-based medication earlier this year. Does that mean nationwide medical marijuana is coming? Or do certain businesses get the special treatment?
What’s The Call Here
So what takes precedence here? Should a person using marijuana legally as a medication be prohibited from purchasing a firearm? Do we apply those laws to those on prescription medications? The recent opioid crisis suggests that marijuana may actually be the lesser of two evils. Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of legalized medical marijuana. What does that look like in America, and when do we get to see it?
Right now, that looks like a lot of confusion. The likelihood that things will work out for you seems to depend on who you ask and who you are. People of color are unfairly targeted for non-violent drug offenses. Meanwhile, GW Pharmaceuticals has received approval to sell marijuana-based medication while the U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, continues to promise nationwide crackdowns.
Can we get some consistency?
- Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can’t Buy Firearms – Fortune
- Legal Recreational Marijuana States and DC – ProCon
- FDA approves first-ever marijuana-based drug in US to help treat epilepsy – The Independent