Now out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the three judge panel ruled recently that registered medical marijuana patients can’t legally own guns because of the federal prohibition on cannabis, according to a Fortune Magazine report.
“Wilson claimed that she doesn’t actually use marijuana, she simply obtained a card to show her support for its legalization. The appeals court agreed with guidelines from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that firearms sellers should assume that medical marijuana card holders use the drug.”
The case, which originated in Nevada, is likely to be appealed. As the attorney looking to overturn the ruling notes: “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 Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has left no doubt where it stands. Last year, the ATF spelled out the marijuana prohibition in boldface type on gun purchase forms.
“Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medical purposes … is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” ATF spokeswoman Janice L. Kemp said in an email to The Associated Press.
The picture has become murkier under Trump, a Republican whose attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has long denounced the drug. Sessions recently rescinded a Barack Obama-era policy that was deferential to states’ permissive marijuana laws. Now, federal prosecutors in states that allow drug sales must decide whether to crack down on the marijuana trade.