“The [OR] 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”

So, Oregonian are dopers. Who knew? Of course I don’t mean they’re all dopers. Just a lot of them. Apparently. “Rural southern Oregon is awash with marijuana — legal and illegal. Arrests for illegal plantations are commonplace,” washingtonpost.com reports, assuming we’ll use common sense to define commonplace. “The region’s six counties also have the highest [unspecified] rate of medical marijuana use in the state. There are also a lot of guns [number unspecified] in the Rogue Valley, where [dope smoking pistol packing Oregonian Cynthia] Willis lives.” See the problem?

For some strange reason, Beaver State sheriffs are having “issues” with handing out concealed carry licenses to medical marijuana card holders who wish to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

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.

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.

Huh? So a doper (and I say that in the nicest possible way) is federally prohibited from purchasing a gun but they can carry a concealed weapon legally? Checking Oregon’s concealed carry laws–specifically statute 166.291—I can’t find anything prohibiting a legal dope-smoker from receiving a license to carry concealed.

In fact, I can’t find any provision prohibiting carrying a firearm in Oregon whilst intoxicated. (Unlike Connecticut, which nails down the drunkenness part of the program but kinda dances around the issue of any other drugs.) That’s got to be the answer to this Oregonian impasse: make it a crime to carry a firearms whilst high as a kite.

Oops! Define high. And for the legally-minded and/or high people in our audience, define kite. And if we aim our Flexible Flyer down that particular slope, we’ve got to look at a whole range of narcotics as we go, from antihistamines to pain killers. Do you really want to take away Rush Limbaugh’s Ed Brown Massad Ayoob Limited Edition 1911? So . . . forget it.

I’m not saying I would toke and carry. In fact, I gave up herbal recreation a long time ago (can’t remember if I inhaled or not, but it seems pretty likely). But there’s no data that says a person who’s doped-up to the eyeballs can’t defend themselves against a lethal threat without shooting the wrong person and yelling “Dude! Why’d you get in the way of my bullet?”

I reckon the adrenalin rush would counter any lethargy and clear the mind pretty rapidly. Either that or give you a wicked buzz. [Note to TTAG weapons/systems tester Foghorn: whatddaya reckon?] As for the forgetfulness aspect—where’d I put that gun again?—well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Meanwhile, this whole thing strikes me as a storm in a tea-cup. Yes, that kind of tea.

comments

  1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    It’s a no brainer! If I drink, I can still have the license-I just cannot combine the two! The only concern I’ve ever had is if I’ve been drinking and someone breaks in-or more likely for me, I’m on my migraine med’s at home and have to shoot to defend myself. I am in SC, by the way. If anyone truly knows the answer, please advise.

    1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      Typical, I called SLED-state law enforcement division-the lady who “knows isn’t in!” When I ran a firearms distributorship once, you could call SLED 3x and get 3 different answers!

      1. avatar Travis Leibold says:

        Check your state laws regarding “Necessity”, “Duress”, or “Lesser of Two Evils” or whatever they decide to call it.
        You may be allowed to commit the relatively minor violation of possesing a weapon while under the influence if you are acting to stop the serious offense of aggravated assault or murder being perpetrated upon yourself of loved ones.

        Im no lawyer, but I’d say that would be a good place to start.

  2. avatar Foghorn says:

    Note to TTAG weapons/systems tester Foghorn: whatddaya reckon?

    Only one way to find out.

    You’ll be getting my invoice for two round-trip tickets to Amsterdam and ammo expended by COB Friday.

    1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      AWRIGHT! Party on Wayne!

  3. avatar A Critic says:

    Huh? So a doper (and I say that in the nicest possible way) is federally prohibited from purchasing a gun

    No. The federal government does not have the authority or power to prohibit plants or chemicals. There is no power to lie to create a power, so the lies by Congress and the courts don’t create any such power, and thus no such power exists.

    And if we aim our Flexible Flyer down that particular slope, we’ve got to look at a whole range of narcotics as we go, from antihistamines to pain killers.

    Antihistamines are incredibly strong at incapacitating people, as is the DXM found in cough medicine. I’d be much more worried about antihistamines and DXM – those are much stronger than cannabis, and they disable your judgment, memory, awareness, etc far more.

    I reckon the adrenalin rush would counter any lethargy and clear the mind pretty rapidly.

    The incapacitating effects of cannabis are often greatly reduced or even entirely eliminated when it is used for medical purposes.

  4. avatar Magoo says:

    Robert Farago says: “I reckon the adrenalin rush would counter any lethargy and clear the mind pretty rapidly.”

    I can’t believe I’m reading this in 2011. That will not work, any more than a cup of coffee or fresh air will “sober you up” when you’re drunk. You’re still drunk, you only feel a little better. When you’re impaired, you’re impaired. I have to presume you know better yourself and threw this out here to stimulate discussion.

    When you are impaired, it’s not within your ability to “clear your mind.” The substances are in your system and you are under their influence until they work their way out. Under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, your basic judgement is impaired, not just your motor skills. It’s not just that people are much less capable of responding successfully to an intruder. They’re also far more prone to shoot themselves and others accidentally, and to misidentify non-intruders as intruders.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      That will not work, any more than a cup of coffee or fresh air will “sober you up” when you’re drunk. You’re still drunk, you only feel a little better.

      Mythbusters tackled this one. It turns out that many common remedies are at least a little effective, at least in the short term, at improving your performance at certain tasks, such as math problems. In particular, Jamie slapping Adam across the face dramatically improved his performance on a hand-eye coordination test. You may be correct that adrenaline has no impact on your BAC (or highness level, however that is measured), but so what? If your performance improves then what’s the difference?

      1. avatar Magoo says:

        That’s not what the Mythbusters determined, even with their decidedly unscientific approach. They recorded a slight improvement in motor skills with the face slap. (None of the other measures — coffee, ice-water dunking, etc — showed any effect.) However, both remained significantly impaired throughout the test — both were visibly drunk with noticeably slurred speech through all the mythical sobering up cures.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mmJMIwsaDQ&feature=related

        More rigorous testing is even more conclusive: physical impairment begins with one drink and there is no “cure” for it except wearing off.

        1. avatar TTACer says:

          That’s not what the Mythbusters determined, even with their decidedly unscientific approach. They recorded a slight improvement in motor skills with the face slap. (None of the other measures — coffee, ice-water dunking, etc — showed any effect.)

          I don’t think “slight” and “remarkable” or “noticeable” are synonyms.

          http://mythbustersresults.com/alcohol-myths

          Exercising vigorously will help a drunk person sober up.

          plausible

          After running for five minutes on a treadmill, Adam’s test had a remarkable improvement over the control test.

          Getting slapped in the face will help a drunk person sober up.

          plausible

          The results showed a noticeable improvement after the subject was slapped.

        2. avatar TTACer says:

          I am not saying that their methodology would hold up in a peer review paper, but you completely mischaracterized the results themselves.

        3. avatar Magoo says:

          Not me. Review the video at 3:20 to 4:00.

        4. avatar TTACer says:

          Are you referring to the “pretty undeniable radical improvement” achieved by the slap? B/c that seems to be the opposite of what you’re saying.

        5. avatar Magoo says:

          Sure, measured improvement in the eye-hand drill, but so what? He still staggers and slurs his words. He’s obviously and seriously impaired, in no condition to drive a car or handle firearms. So what was your point?

          Drugs and booze + firearms = bad mix. It’s not really open for debate among responsible people.

        6. avatar TTACer says:

          So if a girl is drunk enough to slur her words, she has no right to defend herself?

        7. avatar Magoo says:

          TTACer says: “So if a girl is drunk enough to slur her words, she has no right to defend herself?”

          No, that’s absurd. Of course she has the right to defend herself. You are arguing that her ability to defend herself is not impaired by alcohol, which is nonsense.

        8. avatar TTACer says:

          I know this is an old thread but hopefully magoo will see this.

          Where did did I say “not impaired”? I said “improved his performance” which is true. It helps to understand what someone is saying before you disagree with it. There is a website called dictionary.com that may help you with word definitions. It also has a thesaurus so you can work on your synonyms (hint-slight, remarkable, and dramatic are not).

    2. avatar Anonymous Patient says:

      When you are impaired, it’s not within your ability to “clear your mind.”

      Yes it is, especially with marijuana, where a shower, a snack, or a little scare can sober you up right quick. This has been called “killing the buzz”. The mere sight of a police officer can counteract the effects of a copious quantity of marijuana.

      Under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, your basic judgement is impaired, not just your motor skills.

      True in some cases, not true in many others. Some drugs enhance judgment and motors skills.

      They’re also far more prone to shoot themselves and others accidentally, and to misidentify non-intruders as intruders.

      There are many factors, which drugs, how much, which person, which situation. Medical marijuana tends to make one much more cautious and aware.

  5. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    Isn’t it a Cheech when you pull to the left and a Chong when you pull to the right?

  6. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    My charter membership for Knife Rights Foundation just came in, so maybe I have an option!

  7. avatar Ben Eli says:

    This seems like an issue that piggy backs on the discussion regarding those seeking psychiatric treatment and a CCW. Should marijuana treatment be grounds for dismissal?
    I’m gonna say NO WAY! Legal growers and owners do have problems with competition wrecking crops and illegal dopers breaking and entering into homes with legal herb. I got a couple of acquaintances that live in southern California and are card carrying legal dopers that fill me in this sort of stuff. They definitely have a need for it. But if your stoned like a biblical wrongdoer, use a little sense. Lock yourself in your house, get a friend to babysit, and lock away the guns.

  8. avatar The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit says:

    Here, let me REALLY make your head spin – I can get a medical marijuana card and never touch the stuff. Now what are the sheriffs gonna do?

    Bottom line: Attorney General is right. Sheriffs are wrong. As is not unusual for law enforcement.

  9. avatar Danni says:

    You’re correct – there is nothing on the books here in Oregon prohibiting carrying and drinking. I carry in bars all the time, but I make the choice not to drink when I am carrying in a bar. I’m a fan of clearheadedness when carrying, regardless of the places I may go when out and about.

    I think I could draw a line between a “drug addict” and a medical marijuana card holder, but that may be a byproduct of my having lived on the west coast for too long now.

  10. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    You can’t by a gun in RI if you admit to smoking dope on the application, which is probably a good thing cuz we don’t need a bunch of stoners running around with guns.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Illegal growers are a different species entirely from stoners, and to the best of my knowledge illegal growers don’t apply for or receive medical marijuana cards. Illegal growers can be dangerous criminals. On the other hand, the most dangerous thing true medical stoners might do while zonked is order extra cheese on their pizza.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      the most dangerous thing true medical stoners might do while zonked is order extra cheese on their pizza.

      Under socialized medicine, that would constitute destruction of government property.

  12. If a person has proven over a lifetime to be a responsible citizen they should be allowed to own and carry a gun regardless of what they do on their own time. I don’t agree with a lot of peoples’ decisions, but as long as it does not have a detriment to others….. I would prefer to come across a pot head with a gun than a drunk with a car.

  13. avatar NCG says:

    Definitely the courts here in Oregon have established that a medical marijuana card is not grounds for denial of a CCW permit. I actually did some work for the lawyer who argued the case, he’s a freedom loving guy, though not especially a gun guy.

    I have a “friend” (ahem, cough, cough) who smoked a ton of weed in college, and still might have a toke from time to time, if it’s offered. Really, the demon weed is not all that demonic. I’m not advocating stoned driving or stoned gun carrying, but I feel that marijuana is a lot less dangerous than alcohol when it comes to stupidity and aggression. I’ve worked with hardcore drunks and hardcore stoners, and I’ll take the latter any day.

  14. avatar paul says:

    I am sure the “drug addicts”(as far as the 1968 law is concerned), are illegal daily users of narcotics(opiates), that might make someone pick up that gun to rob people for a fix. Or even commit suicide. These people can get really desperate. With so many people in our society on mood enhancers, BP meds, not to mention drugs that affect the eyes, hearing and muscles(muscle relaxers), there are really not many people that could have a gun if they were classified drug addicts.
    Even those on a doctor’s care for pain relief should not be placed in this category, they have a legal supply and aren’t going to get that desperate.
    These sheriffs are showing thier hatred to “those not like we are”, just like the laws against minorities having firearms, so they can bully them.
    Sorry, I don’t take wolf tickets, I fight back.

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