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Medical Marijuana & Florida 2nd Amendment Rights

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Should Florida Medical Marijuana patients have restricted access to guns?

Well, some states are trying to say so.

The right to bear arms is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans by the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
However, guidelines were issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms back in 2011 to halt the sale of firearms to anyone who is a medical marijuana patient.

The question remains- why?
Let’s take a quick look at the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, and whether medical marijuana patients should retain their right to bear arms!

What is the Issue with Medical Marijuana Patients Carrying Firearms?
Sadly, the literature in United States law is in place to block medical marijuana users from purchasing or carrying firearms.

According to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) no person
“who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” may “possess... or… receive any firearm or ammunition.” In addition, it is unlawful for “any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person… is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.”

As we see, the issue with medical marijuana patients and guns is that marijuana is still federally illegal.
Although states have the right to decide whether they want to allow medical marijuana use, the federal government has not yet fully ratified this.

Currently, marijuana is categorized to be a Schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin, crystal meth, cocaine, and other drugs which are known to have serious and life-threatening consequences.
If medical marijuana patients want to retain their 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms, they are going to have to push through this classification.

What Can Medical Marijuana Users Do to Obtain a Firearm?
In 2016 and 2017, court cases to defend the 2nd Amendment rights failed to change this issue.
However, that is not the end of the battle for medical marijuana users.
There is overwhelming research that alcohol use causes much more cognitive impairment than marijuana, which is strong ground that the medical marijuana community has to stand on.
Sadly, it is unlikely that marijuana will be removed as a Schedule 1 drug in the near future.
However, the perception of marijuana use is shifting.
More people are becoming uncomfortable with the fact that a raging alcoholic is allowed to walk down the street and by a gun, but someone who is registered to use medical marijuana (even if not using THC-containing medication) is not.
At this point, the decision is mostly in the hand of the courts.
Currently, the United States Congress is still fixated on the fact that “drug use raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Seeing as it is perfectly reasonable for a drunk to buy a gun to torment his family or neighbors, it is likely that this topic is discussed heavily as more states begin to adopt medical marijuana programs.
It is hard to imagine medical marijuana patients from all 50 states succumbing to this legislation, and there is promising ground to stand on going forward.

The foremost issue is that marijuana will need to be rescheduled from a “Class 1 drug” to make much movement on this issue in the future.
As advocates for responsible marijuana use are becoming more prominent and powerful, it is likely that medical marijuana florida patients will be granted their 2nd Amendment Rights again.
 
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TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Let me simplify that for you, lol:

Should Florida Medical Marijuana patients have restricted access to guns?
No. [Note: I am assuming, here, that you meant to type "Should Florida Medical Cannabis patients BE restricted FROM accessing gun?" Because it would not be all that gratifying, in my honest opinion, for you to "win" the right... to have restricted access to guns. They have that in Canada, lol. Lock 'em up in a box, they do. Often... At a secure gun range or other such facility. Again, I am making an assumption here - but I assume that you'd like to be able to possess yours to the same extent that the rest of the general public can. I hope you get your wording straight before ever going into Official Paperwork Mode, lol, or you will surely fail in your endeavor.]

Non-medicated psych patients (and those who should BE psych patients :rolleyes: ) who are walking the streets instead of being safely tucked into rubber rooms where they belong should be prohibited from accessing firearms - and a host of other tools ranging from small rocks and vaguely sharpened sticks all the way up to nukes, high-energy lasers, and rail-guns.

Of course, it is safe to assume that a TINY percentage of both subsets of the population are the same people. In which case, give priority to their classification of being batsh!t crazy and don't let them have access to anything more dangerous than thoroughly non-toxic finger paint.

Well, some states are trying to say so.
And they will most likely continue to do so, for there is a federal statute that has applied - and continues to apply - here.

The right to bear arms is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Americans by the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.

However, guidelines were issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms back in 2011 to halt the sale of firearms to anyone who is a medical marijuana patient.

According to federal statutes, possession of cannabis is a crime. This thing was never changed in regards to medicinal cannabis users. The previous administration only directed the relevant agencies to stop focusing on such users. These two things are NOT the same!

Federal law also says that any person "who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" is barred from possessing guns. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). That one references the Controlled Substances Act ("(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))")

A read-through of the CSA will show you that cannabis - which is still referred to as marijuana (which is still spelled as "Marihuana," :rolleyes: ) - is still listed as a Schedule I Narcotic. Ergo, possessors of cannabis are federally prohibited from possessing firearms.

Federal law trumps state law. And THAT, in a nutshell, is why most states still prohibit medicinal cannabis users from possessing firearms. For a slightly lengthier answer, add "state government p*ssies" and "can of worms," lol.

You might, in theory manage to change your state's law on this. But it's very much an uphill battle (see above in its entirety). Especially right now. We currently have a head douche bag who loves to hate. And he hates YOU! For all that he probably doesn't know your name. (Calm down, lol, he hates me, too. Consider it a badge of honor.) He has very much reversed the previous administration's stance vis-à-vis medicinal cannabis, et cetera.

Let’s take a quick look at the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution
Do that. Better yet, instead of "taking a quick look," read through it thoroughly. But remember that you must also then take a look at the transcripts of centuries of US Supreme Court cases that were involved in decisions related to, and a working definition of, the Second Amendment. There is a legal phrase that applies, in regards to the prohibitions here. "presumptively lawful regulatory measures." The USSC has upheld almost every. single. one.

There was actually a case that not only made it to the USSC (most of them (by far) never make it that far).

WAIT - That one was decided in the 3rd District Court of Appeals. Sorry. I used to really keep track of this kind of stuff (long time responsible firearms ownership proponent, living in a state that allows both open and concealed carry (to those not prohibited from doing so), and used to be a pretty vocal activist on the subject "out in the real world"), but it has been years.

Binderup v. Holder was not even concerned with the 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) exception to the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, it was the only decision of its kind that I ever found. And it... Well, first off, that decision only went the way it did by the narrowest of margins. Second, as I mentioned, it did not have anything to do with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), the CSA, et cetera. Finally... Well, the guy's previous conviction was sketchy to the extreme (he should never have been convicted of the crime he had been charged with in the first place!). Binderup - back in 1998, IIRC - had a consensual relationship with a 17-year old. He was charged with, and convicted of, corruption of a minor. The female's age (at the time) is significant here because this happened in Pennslyvania - and the age of consent in PA at the time the relationship occured was 16. So the guy should never have been convicted in the first place (FFS!). But, be that as it may, he was.

Fast forward to the case on whether or not he should be prohibited from possessing firearms. There are some other things - whether his conviction should have been treated as a felony as pertains to the prohibition, et cetera - but this post is already getting to be a bit lengthy, lol.

The statistics presented by the government, showing that people with criminal convictions — even nonviolent ones — are likely to commit other crimes aren’t probative given the nature of the crime, how long ago the crime was, and Binderup’s current age (59). For these reasons, the court held,

[P]laintiff has demonstrated that, if allowed to keep and bear arms in his home for purposes of self-defense, he would present no more threat to the community that the average law-abiding citizen.
And because of this, the presumption that there’s no Second Amendment problem with barring felons from possessing guns, the court held, has been rebutted.

I know that I've posted a bit that was in your original post. But I feel that the above part is pretty important all by itself. To repeat, "...he would present no more threat to the community [than] that [of] the average law-abiding citizen."

In other words, the appeals court did NOT strike down this general prohibition. What happened was that this individual('s lawyers) showed that the fact that he had been convicted of a crime - which was the cause of his having been prohibited from possessing firearms in the first place - did not make him any more dangerous than the next person.

In theory the same could be done in our... err... case. Which is to say that IF one succeeded in doing so...

...then it wouldn't matter two shiny shits whether or not 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) provided a valid exception to the Second Ammendment for users of substances listed somewhere in the Controlled Substance Act, nor would it matter whether or not cannabis (however the prejudice-inciting pieces of <BLEEP> in DC choose to refer to it) appeared in that CSA.

Of course, there is a caveat to all of this. And... it's a bit of a large one. Figuratively speaking, lol, it's about ten billion miles tall. You see, the plaintiff in the aforementioned case only successfully argued that HE (as an individual) should not be prohibited from possessing firearms. He did not do so for all persons who have been convicted of crimes - or even for all persons who have been convicted of the same type of crime.

For this thing to have any effect (other than a narrow, tangential one), you would not only have to successfully argue that YOU would be no more of a danger (if you were to possess firearms) than the general public... you would have to argue that the same held true to all cannabis users in general (alternatively, state-licensed medicinal-use cannabis users and/or legal recreational cannabis users - take your pick).

And that might be... a bit tricky. I actually had a good bit more hope that someone would successfully manage to navigate all the legal hurdles to get such a case heard by a court of high enough stature AND to then win it with a general ruling before the existence of dispensaries became so widespread. This is because there have been a number of armed robberies of such businesses. Which... you know... Well, it's a boat anchor. If a case like this happened, and it started looking like there was even a vague possibility that such a general decision would be in the wind, well, I guarantee that an attorney sitting at the other table would immediately stand up and point out that some cannabis users are so addicted to the substance that they use firearms in the commission of felonies. So... uh... good luck with that, I guess.

Sessions tried to fight the above court case after the fact in 2016. He failed. So, again, there is some small hope for a victory via this kind of strategy... in theory.

Of course you also have the option of arguing that, since the very wording of the CSA, itself, states that, for a substance to be listed as a Schedule I Narcotic, said substance must meet not one, not two, but all three qualifiers - and that cannabis meets ZERO of them.

Good luck with that, too. It has been tried. Repeatedly. In far friendlier political climates than the current one.

It really is going to be like yelling at a brick wall to move out of your way - and successfully getting it to step aside. I lived and breathed this kind of thing for years, back when I had hope for a "quick" victory, somehow. It'll be a very uphill struggle - and I seem to have gotten old. And tired. Here, lol, I am passing that particular torch to you. Please do not burn yourself. I sure did. It's one reason that I am so concerned with my (pseudo-)anonymity on this forum that I probably get looked at like I'm some kind of whack-job more often than not. <SHRUGS> The squeaky wheel may get the grease - but the stuck peg... gets the hammer.

Do some reading on the old federal medicinal-use cannabis program. A lot of people were (quite literally in many cases, I suspect) dancing in the streets when that became a thing. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that you could bet your @ss against any amount of money that there were many, many people who tried to get into that particular government dole line (the cannabis was - and still is - provided gratis, lol). Would you happen to know the total number of people who ever did actually manage to get into it? I do. 15. That's right, fifteen people. Out of the legions that made the attempt. That program has been closed to new entrants since 1992. That alone is such a shame that it ought to be considered a criminal act. Most of them are dead now. Last I heard, there was a stockbroker (IIRC) living somewhere in Florida that was still receiving a metal tin containing 300 cannabis pre-rolls each month. I think he's on record stating that the cannabis is nothing special (and kind of dry). And there was a woman still living several years ago. There may have been one or two more, I do not remember. Those (few) people have paperwork that states they are legally entitled to drive around with a can full of sub-par government grass, lol... And, to the best of my knowledge, they cannot legally possess firearms, either.

Aint life a b!tch sometimes? (Says an old fart who shot his first deer at age seven.)

I do not know which of the above strategies would be your best bet, to be honest. I suggest you pursue both of them, to the best of your ability (if you are so inclined, if you have the time, if you have the money, if you have the... energy). I wish you the very best of luck in the world. I really do. I just wouldn't bet a nickel on your chance of success this year. Or next year. I hope to see it come to pass in my lifetime but, again, I am getting older. Logically... I should be able to see it. But logic has rarely been a major factor in that drained swamp often referred to simply as DC.

Oh, and here's a tip:
It is properly referred to as cannabis. Start using the correct term. STOP referring to it by ANY other one. I don't care if it's in a courtroom scenario or when you're on your back porch passing a bowl back and forth with your neighbor. Any other term carries highly prejudicial connotations. And the other side in this battle... neither needs, nor deserves our help. IMHO.

Again: Good luck!
 
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Happy Hemper

Well-Known Member
Great post TS. :goodjob:
If dispensaries were not forced to be cash only they would likely be robbed much less often, considering that they are not soft by law. If only there was 40 some years of scientific research that would show the stupidity of cannabis' no 1 status :confused: and debunk any reason for the draconian laws we continue to live under.