Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guns and legal cannabis colliding in New Mexico, other states


Still believe the Second Amendment is absolute? Think again.
Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White says he is no longer a certified law enforcement officer, doesn’t have a concealed handgun carry license but does own a firearm. White has also publicly disclosed that he is a medical cannabis user and an investor in a new medical marijuana grower and dispensary in Albuquerque, as well as its chief administrator and security chief. As of May, about 25,000 people had medical marijuana cards issued by the Health Department. About 41,000 New Mexicans had concealed handgun carry licenses in 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available. [Albuquerque Journal]
Under a surge of patients' applications the New Mexico Department of Health is under fire for extended delays of new cards for therapeutic cannabis.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will make sure you lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to ingesting cannabis or even if you are a patient being treated under the care of a doctor.

From Brian Doherty's piece at Reason:
Merely having a state medical marijuana card, BATFE insists, means that you fall afoul of Sect. 922(g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo (with the bogus assertion that such possession implicates interstate commerce, which courts will pretty much always claim it does). While the BATFE has not yet announced any concerted program to go after people who may have had legally purchased weapons before getting a marijuana card, Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says that it’s common practice in medical marijuana-related busts that “if weapons are present, there will be gun charges added on as well.”
Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, another state where cannabis has been legalized, has teamed up with Colorado congress member, Jared Polis: they have introduced legislation that would end the federal prohibition.

The Democratic National Committee has approved a party platform plank calling for cannabis law reform.

Prohibition doesn't work: eliminate the nanny state cannabis restriction on firearm ownership, levy hefty transaction taxes on the sales and gifting of semi-automatic rifles, handguns, their ammo and extended clips on Senator Diane Feinstein's list then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion.

As tribal nations mull the Justice Department's memorandum on legal cannabis within reservation boundaries and BATFE remains free to pop anybody in Indian Country more clashes and lawsuits seem inevitable.

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