Medical marijuana can be life changing for some people suffering from chronic illness. But did you know the if you have a medical marijuana card there’s something else that you can’t have? Guns.
A federal law states no matter if you get a gun legally and your card legally, the two cannot mix.
If you have them both, you could go directly to jail.
“This is a very clear cut simple area of the law you can’t have a medical marijuana card and a gun and we have to respect that law,” said Victor Fitz, Cass County prosecutor.
It’s a federal law, but one that Fitz says not a lot of people may know about.
“While it’s been established, many people don’t realize it and there are probably a lot of violators out there right now,” he said.
The reason is because federally marijuana is still considered an illegal drug. A gray area where state and federal law clash.
In an op-ed by the former president of the NRA, David Keene, he says that “the refusal of the federal government to accede to the judgment of the states on the issues has created problems for tens or even hundreds of thousands of gun owners who are being forced to either trade their Second Amendment rights for a chance to live pain free or risk prosecution or imprisonment.”
That punishment is a felony charge carrying up to 10 years behind bars. And as the Novemeber elections get closer, this issue may come to light again.
Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana is on the Michigan ballot.
Fitz says even if it passed, it wouldn’t make a difference.
“Even if every state had recreational marijuana, this federal law is still in existence and the only thing that would change the playing field, so to speak, is if that federal law was repealed, and I don’t see that happening.”
But it’s a law that some hope will go up in smoke.
Keene says, “Trading a constitutional right for pain relief is a choice no one should have to make.”
Fitz says he doesn’t believe marijuana card holders should be allowed to own a gun, too. He says too often he sees people in court because they mix guns and illegal drugs like marijuana.
Some states, like Oregon, have passed state laws that allow people to own guns if they have a medical marijuana card.
But that doesn’t protect them if they’re arrested for a federal crime.