Reefer Madness On The 9th Circuit

A Choice Between Two Liberties

Today the 9th Circuit court of appeals ruled in a 3-0 decision that the 2nd Amendment rights of US citizens living in cannabis friendly states can be denied because those citizens possess medical marijuana cards. This ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada medical marijuana card holder, who was denied sale of a firearm because she is a medical marijuana card holder. In today’s decision we read that “the use of such drugs raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

We know the truth about cannabis usage and behavior, and such Reefer Madness statements from Appellate courts should outrage you.

A Dangerous Precedent

While some of you may be passionate about 2nd Amendment rights, I understand that many of you are either supporters of gun control, or just don’t care. So why should you care? You should care because this asinine statement could be applied to any number of other things. We know the truth about cannabis usage and behavior, and such Reefer Madness statements from Appellate courts should outrage you. The idea that in 2016 we still have federally appointed judges fearing dangerous marijuana users possessing firearms is ridiculous, and the fact that this was a unanimous decision is outrageous.

The ATF’s position

In 2011, the ATF wrote in an open letter to firearms dealers that if you are aware that the potential transferee is in possession of a card authorizing the possession and use of marijuana under State law, then you have “reasonable cause to believe” that the person is an unlawful user of a controlled substance“. This deals with ATF Form 4473, which poses the question “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?” Now, how one can be an “unlawful user” in a legal state is beyond me, but this is where the issue has landed.

A Plan to Appeal

As of this point, Chaz Rainey, attorney for Ms. Wilson is planning to appeal this ruling. Hopefully this ruling will lean toward a ruling that focuses on everyone’s liberty, as opposed to liberty for only certain groups, when this case reaches the Supreme Court. As of right now, if you live in the 9th Circuit and feel the need to protect yourself, you’d best decide whether your medication is more important than self-preservation, because the 9th Circuit has ruled that you can’t have both.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Peachtree NORML or the official policies of Peachtree NORML.