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Guns vs. Marijuana: Will Texas Give Cannabis Users Their Second Amendment Rights?

Texas: Forcing Federal Changes on Guns & Marijuana
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Guns vs. Marijuana: Will Texas Give Cannabis Users Their Second Amendment Rights?

The federal government’s longstanding ban on firearms ownership for cannabis patients not popular in Texas, but the state hasn’t budged to fight it — yet.

Joshua Raines, a 31-year-old Iraq war veteran, fits an increasingly common profile of a medical cannabis user in America. Raines smokes weed he acquires illegally to control epilepsy and other symptoms of the traumatic brain injury he suffered following a roadside bomb explosion while deployed.

Raines also lives in a red state — in his case, Texas. This means he also typifies an ongoing showdown felt keenly in gun-friendly states that are experimenting with legal marijuana, such as Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as Texas, where there are 1.3 million registered firearms, according to the Associated Press.

Registering as a medical marijuana patient would mean Raines would have to surrender his legally purchased firearms. And that is something he is refusing to do, choosing instead to keep his guns while buying weed on the illicit market. He’ll run this risk rather than trade away his rights “like baseball cards,” as he told the Dallas Morning News.

Raines’s predicament is nothing new in the marijuana-policy debate in America. What is relatively new is the venue and the players involved: a conservative state, and conservative-championed military veterans.

“To tell Texans you can’t purchase a firearm if you have a compassionate use card is unconscionable,” Rachel Malone, the Texas director of firearms advocacy group Gun Owners for America, told the Dallas Morning News. “We should not force people to choose between gun ownership and taking care of themselves.”

This development would seem to lean in marijuana users’ favor. How long can conservative lawmakers and the gun lobby defy red-blooded, red-state Americans’ desires to fulfill their constitutional rights?

How long can conservative lawmakers and the gun lobby defy red-blooded, red-state Americans’ desires to fulfill their constitutional rights?

An awfully long time, it appears. Maybe forever!

Cannabis users can possess guns legally in America, but in order to do so, they have to lie to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. There’s a questionnaire that gun users must fill out in order to acquire a federal license, and on the questionnaire, there’s a line specifically asking if the individual in question uses medical cannabis.

Answering “no” potentially opens up the applicant for federal perjury charges, though it’s unclear how many times a U.S. attorney has pursued such a case against a gun-owning weed user. And it’s also unclear what a recreational marijuana user is supposed to do. The form, as MGRetailer.com noted, was written in 2001, when a handful of states had medical marijuana and no state had recreational cannabis. Does this mean a gun owner in Colorado — or the more gun-restrictive state of California— enjoy more rights than one in Texas?

The gun lobby wields significant power in America, successfully beating back most every effort at tightened gun-control laws. Texas, it should be noted, was the venue for exactly such a battle this year. Despite sponsorship from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, a bill that would have merely funded a $1 million dollar gun storage advocacy campaign died in committee.

Thus, extending gun ownership rights to more Texans would seem to be the thing to do. Doing that would require a change of federal law. And a bill in Congress introduced by U.S. Rep. Alexander Mooney that would have done just is also in committee limbo, dead for want of a hearing.

Raines’s willingness to openly state in a mainstream news article that he’s breaking the law rather than follow the strictures of a law he thinks is wrong and bad is telling — this won’t be the indignity that gun owners or marijuana users will suffer silently. Even if they have to suffer it indefinitely. This is exactly the kind of issue the gun lobby was made for. When will the “big guns” like the NRA step up?

TELL US, do you think medical marijuana users should be able to own a gun?

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Maxcatski

    July 1, 2019 at 9:58 am

    No guns for pot smokers, hahahahaha. I know which one I will pick, every time. I sold my guns but I kept the cannabis. It’s easier to be legal with pot than guns here in Canada.

    Lie like you have been trained to do by Prohibition and you can still have both.

  2. YearofAction

    June 22, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Owning a gun is different from bearing a gun. Gun ownership could be restored to cannabis users, by clearly prohibiting the ingestion of potent cannabis when bearing a gun. There are many ways to enforce that simple rule.

    Let’s contact our members of Congress about simply reconstructing the malformed federal definition of marijuana to make it reinforce the Well Regulated Militia Clause of the 2nd Amendment and uphold our Constitution. Consider this reconstructed definition:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

  3. YearofAction

    June 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Owning a gun is different that bearing a gun. Gun ownership could be restored to cannabis users, by prohibiting gun-bearing when partaking. Let’s contact our members of Congress about simply reconstructing the malformed federal definition of marijuana to make it uphold our Constitution and reinforce the Well Regulated Militia Clause of the 2nd Amendment, like this:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

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