“A person who uses medical cannabis should not have to give up their fundamental rights as enumerated by the Constitution.”

April 4th, 2011

In Oregon, there is currently a Court challenge to assess whether patients who have prescriptions for medicinal marijuana can be denied a conceal carry permit in a “Shall Issue” state. The AP has a lengthy story on this topic.

The Sheriffs challenging this practice argue that the state carry law is pre-empted:

The sheriffs argue that the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act prohibits selling firearms to drug addicts, and they say that includes medical marijuana card holders. Their briefs state that they cannot give a permit to carry a gun to someone prohibited from buying or owning a gun.

The medicinal marijuana cardholders differ:

But the cardholders have won so far arguing this is one situation where federal law does not trump state law, because the concealed handgun license just gives a person a legal defense if they are arrested, not a right.

Oregon’s attorney general has sided with the marijuana cardholders, arguing that the concealed handgun license cannot be used to buy a gun, so sheriffs who issue one to a marijuana card holder are not in violation of the federal law.

The most interesting quote from the article, which I made the title of this post, was this pearl:

NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre said Oregon courts have not been entirely medical marijuana friendly. While they have upheld the right to pack a pistol, they have also ruled that employers can fire people who use medical marijuana.

“A person who uses medical cannabis should not have to give up their fundamental rights as enumerated by the Constitution,”‘ St. Pierre said.

Yes, the Second Amendment is a fundamental right, something ignored by the 1968 U.S. gun control act, and, frankly, all subsequent gun control legislation before 2008 (and perhaps even after 2008).

I blogged previously about a proposed addition to federal gun control laws that would ban ownership of those arrested–not even convicted–of drug offenses.

I am very curious about the parallel liberalization of both drug, and firearm policy. Going forward, it is interesting how these two doctrines will interact. As drug use (marijuana, at least) becomes more acceptable in society, denying people a constitutional right on that basis will probably be frowned on more. This creates an unusual alliance between drug users and gun toters.