Guns, Cannabis and Personal Responsibility

Shooting Range

A hot topic in our clinic is how gun ownership is impacted by being a legal cannabis patent. Emotions run deep with this topic as patients are forced to choose between their 2nd amendment rights and the use of medical cannabis. If you aren’t aware, when you apply to purchase a gun in Maryland you are asked if you use cannabis. 

If you answer yes, you will not be approved to buy a firearm.

Forget the fact that opiate users legal and illegal, alcohol users, and illegal drug users can obtain a legal firearm. Illegal cannabis users can also get a firearm just by checking no to the question of “do you use cannabis?” They only way they would be denied is if they have an arrest record.

When you ask state officials why legal cannabis patients are denied their second amendment rights, many times the answer they offer is that cannabis is against Federal law. Here is the posted answer on the MMCC’s website to the question of can a legal cannabis patent own or possess a firearm:

“No. Federal law bars medical cannabis patients from purchasing or possessing firearms. The Federal Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), prohibits any person 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)’ from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Marijuana is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I controlled substance, and there are no exceptions in Federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law. Medical cannabis patient information contained in Maryland’s patient registry is considered confidential, protected health information and held in compliance with federal HIPAA regulations by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. However, the Maryland State Police query individuals who seek to purchase a gun about their status as a medical cannabis patient and bar those who disclose that they are medical cannabis patients from making the transaction.

Individuals who provide false information by failing to disclose that they are a medical cannabis patient when purchasing a firearm are in violation of federal statute, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.”

This is an answer that confuses many as cannabis is legal recreationally in many states. So, if I’m a legal patent in Maryland I can’t own a gun, but if I legally consume it in Colorado, or Nevada, I can still get approved to own a gun? Oh, and if I lie about being a legal patient in MD to get approved, I can still be imprisoned and fined?

Funny how this does not stop illegal cannabis users from getting approved. Many patients continue to risk arrest and their safety by buying cannabis off the streets to protect their gun rights. Many of these patients are forced to deal with less than savory characters and take chances buying medicine that is full of mercury or lead, or even worse laced with deadly drugs like fentanyl and heroin.

The fact that cannabis is a schedule 1 drug is laughable and hypocritical.

Schedule 1 Drugs

The Federal Government owns the patent on cannabis as a medical compound. The Feds have known for years that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine, that’s why they patented it.  There is a long and sorted history that currently has cannabis against Federal Law and classified as a schedule 1 drug. 

Schedule one drugs are defined as, substances, or chemicals that are defined by the federal government as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule 1 (I) drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. 

The fact that the Federal Government schedule 1 classification means there is no accepted medical use, is quite contradictory to patent #US6630507B1. Here is an excerpt from that patent: 

 

Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 

The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”.

 Patent 6630507 references 12 other U.S. patents related to cannabis dating back to 1942.  Sounds like they believe it to hold great medicinal properties. Keep in mind that cocaine is considered less dangerous than cannabis by Federal classification.   

The other argument I hear is that people on cannabis are not fit to handle a firearm. This response gets me on my soap box like no other. Opponents of medical cannabis would have you believe that cannabis users are irresponsible, unintelligent people. I recently saw a quote from an opponent of medical cannabis concerning the topic of gun ownership and cannabis patients. He said

“Anyone who has ever gotten stoned, think about it. Do you really feel you were able to handle a gun? I don’t think so.”

This quote and attitude does a disservice to legal cannabis patients in the state. Many patients are seeking and using cannabis products that cause no psychoactive effect, or “high”, including topical creams, and products that are high in CBD. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effect of THC. This type of statement and opinion are misleading, dated, and assumes all cannabis patients are irresponsible people or use cannabis to get “stoned”, and that is far from the case.

Let me take it a step further. I am proud to be a legal cannabis patient. I have used cannabis for over 30 years on a regular basis. To imply that I am not responsible enough to handle or own a firearm is insulting. During the last 30 years I have been employed (mostly), raised a child, maintained a mortgage, maintained a good credit rating, started my own business, paid my taxes and have been a productive part of society.

Why does my cannabis use make me any more likely to misuse a firearm than an alcoholic, an illegal drug user, or a legal opiate user? Cannabis patients are all around you. Their your teachers, law enforcement, managers, lawyers, real estate agents, pilots, elected officials, retail workers, neighbors, and friends. It’s time to end the stigma that cannabis users are lazy, stupid people. They are quite the opposite. They are the leaders who are using a safe and effective alternative to modern pharmaceuticals to achieve a better quality of life.

Urbn Holistic is a medical cannabis evaluation clinic located in Baltimore. For an appointment or information on getting certified Call or text 410 314 9548. urbnholistic.com

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