Medical Marijuana CCW Update: SCOTUS Declines Cert

 

Back in April of 2011, we reported on the donnybrook between some Oregon sheriffs and the Beaver State’s pistol-packing medical marijuana users.  The sheriffs initially refused to issue CCW permits to medical marijuana licensees, on the grounds that bong-loading (medically sanctioned or not) violated the Gun Control Act of 1968.  The Oregon Supreme Court disagreed and ordered the sheriffs to issue the CCW permits anyway.  Oregon being, after all, a “Shall Issue” CCW state.

The sheriffs appealed to the United States Supreme Court, and today the high court formally declined certiorari.  This means that the lower court rulings remain in place as the law of the land.  Or at least, of Oregon.  And that Oregon sheriffs will have to continue to issue CCW permits to medical marijuana users.

This decision, however, leaves pistol-packin’ pipe-stuffin’ medical marijuana users in a kind of legal limbo, because the Stasi our good friends at the ATFE have decided that medical marijuana users are “unlawful users” of marijuana on Line 11(e) of Form 4473.  By this administrative fiat, medical marijuana users are thus ineligible to receive firearms.

The upshot of all this is that medical marijuana users can keep their guns if they’ve got them, but they might have a hard time buying them through FFL licensees.  I think that this kind of stupid rule will only encourage straw-man purchases by otherwise law-abiding patients, but maybe I’m wrong because the ATFE wouldn’t do something foolish like that, would they?

43 Responses to Medical Marijuana CCW Update: SCOTUS Declines Cert

  1. avatarGUNSnDONUTS says:

    I’ts all over the local radio talk show up here. Lars Larson covers it a bunch

    • avatarNCG says:

      Lars Larson is a Libertarian about almost everything except marijuana. I wish he would get over it already. He’s the worst kind of conservative hypocrite – all about freedom, except for people he doesn’t agree with, who should be cracked down on.

  2. avatarMichael Bakowski says:

    Is that a sporterized Lee Enfield in the upper half? Such a beautiful rifle should never be clad in plastic :’(

  3. avatarA Critic says:

    By this administrative fiat, medical marijuana users are thus ineligible to receive firearms.

    The Supremes already decided that medical marijuana users are ineligible for their own lives.

  4. avatarST says:

    The mary jane smokers basically have to choose to bear arms or toke up. One or the other.

    Medical Marijuana users who have a state certification to consume literally generate documented evidence that they are drug users. Even if their state legalizes medical use but doesn’t document legal purchases the 4473 traps anyone attempting a legal FFL purchase who uses drugs listed as Schedule 1 controlled substances.

    Mark “YES” to the pivotal question and boom, no gun purchase. Mark “NO” and wait ten years or less to hand the feds an airtight drug, firearm, and federal perjury case in federal court when the DEA and KGB-sorry, BATFE- kick in your front door and take your guns and bud. Your defense lawyer will ensure the remnants of your property and money is spent on legal fees.

    Now if one does a face to face or off-4473 transaction I’d guess that leaves a MM user some room to manouver, but such a person must take extreme pains to avoid the Feds discovering his gun collection. And heaven help an MM user who has to experience a DGU situation.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I expect it is inevitable that SCOTUS will eliminate this conflict before the next two or three sessions have concluded. The other major Federal overstep lies in the 18 USC §922 prohibited persons rules in relation to state misdemeanors that have more than a one year sentence, often misdemeanors having nothing to do with violence. That issue is already making its way through the courts. I hope the Justices take the sensible course. One never knows.

  5. avatarRopingdown says:

    I don’t smoke weed and I only drink wine with dinner, but I have an opinion on the Willis case. Police have known for decades that alcohol impairs judgment in a more dangerous way than cannabis by itself. As to gun rights in relation to public safety, a balance has long been struck: Don’t carry or handle a gun when under the influence. The black market is what makes marijuana very dangerous, together with immaturity leading to abuse and dependency (youth also captures the young in alcoholism). I’ve never been assaulted by a weed smoker who’s touched no alcohol, meth, or cocaine. I’ve been assaulted by drunks quite a few times and cocaine users on a few occasions, though never with serious bodily injury, fortunately. The Justices of SCOTUS have, in various dissents, expressed the view, five of them at different times, that cannabis should not be a schedule 1 substance. At least one, Thomas, has doubted the constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act. People rob for cocaine, heroin, meth, and prescription pain-killers for which they lack a proscription. I think SCOTUS is, just from this citizen’s point of view, on the right track.

  6. avatarRalph says:

    Question 11b on Form 4473 asks, in pertenent part: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana . . . .”

    ATF can make up any bullsh!t that it wants (witness F&F), so they now claim that medical majijuana users are acting illegally. The states that authorize medical marijuana firmly disagree. Were I a medical MJ user authorized by Oregon, I would answer “no” to question 11b, based upon the laws of my state that assure me that I am acting legally.

    The “addicted to” part of the question is a red herring. Whether MJ is addicitive or not (and most doctors and mental health professionals agree that it is not), it cannot be logically maintained that anyone can be addicted to prescription marijuana any more that people can be addicted to their prescription dijoxin, heparin, invirase or whatever drugs are keeping them alive and healthy.

    Until someone can point to an actual case of a MJ user being successfully prosecuted by the feds for Form 4473 perjury in Oregon, I’ll believe that any threats by ATF are just bullying tactics by the jackbooted thugs of the ATF.

    • avatarMartin Albright says:

      Agree 100%. It’s important to note that the ATF statement is an opinion, nothing more. True, it’s an opinion that can lead to some pretty drastic consequences (arrest, confiscation, and trial) but until an appellate court states with certainty that a person with a medical marijuana card is an “illegal user”, ATF’s contention that it does will remain an opinion only.

      My guess is that with so many states passing medical marijuana laws, sooner or later a court will have to deal with this, whether they want to or not. Right now the ATF is playing it cool by not prosecuting anyone for either lying on their 4473 or for being in possession of a firearm while also being a MMJ user, but sooner or later it will happen and when it does a court will have to rule on the issue in light of Heller and McDonald.

      • avatarD says:

        it needs to be pointd out that there is a difference between being in the possession of and owning. you make it sound like MMJ card holders can not own a firearm which is not true. MMJ card holders can and do own firearms

        • avatarTiger says:

          Wrong. The Obama DOJ states that the mere possession of a MMJ card precludes a citizen from legally owning, purchasing, or possessing a firearm.

          Of course, since when does an addendum from a power hungry Assistant AG usurp state laws and the Constitution?

          (Answer: Since Obama became POTUS)

        • avatarUndertow says:

          Having a medical issue that requires a prescription should not, and does not take away your American right to bear arms. You don’t lose any other rights as a card holder so why would you lose your right to protect yourself and your property. You can have alcohol in your home and have a ccw you just cannot be drunk and run around with your gun. You should be able to have marijuana in your home but not carry while under the influence. Plane and simple.

    • avatarTodd94590 says:

      +1

      it’s my belief that, if a person holds a medical MJ card, as honestly and truly prescribed by (hopefully your personal) doctor, that person is not “illegally” using.

      this versus John/Jane Q Public, who may score a bag for recreational use, and yet is on no radar because said person is not stupid enough to stick out like a sore thumb & do something really stupid and get busted.

      and then there are those who choose crime; making such decisions sets them aside from the rest of the public, as their decision making abilities may be compromised (aka: stooopid). they will, eventually and inevitability end up with a mile-long rap sheet (and thus, preventing the “passing” of form 4473)

    • avatarNCG says:

      Excellent lawyerly insight, Ralph.

    • avatarTiger says:

      FLAME DELETED

  7. avatarAharon says:

    Good news for those who have the card. Today, at Portland’s Gun Room store I held a black powder pistol that was possibly English and from the early 1800s. The pistol had a small lion engraved on the receiver holding a crown. I never held such a pistol before. It was a Pirates of the Caribbean moment. I also saw a classic octagon long barrel .50 cal black powder piece the store is sending as a gift to Sarah Palin. There was another one going to Ted Nugent. Their names were engraved on the guns and they were works of art. A local craftsman supposedly makes such guns only a few times per year.

  8. avatarFrank says:

    Last time I checked, no where in the second amendment does it say anything about drugs usage of any kind. Also does the ATFE not realize that the same constitution they are crapping on was originally writing on hemp paper? Or is it that politician types do not understand what “Shall not be infringed” means?

    • avatarTiger says:

      Its not the 2nd amendment that is under fire here. State laws grant citizens the right to bear arms for self protection. The 2nd amendment only says we can keep and bear arms as part of a “well regulated militia”. In that regard, even CA gun laws a more liberal than federal law.

      • avatarChris says:

        The 2nd Amendment says nothing about bearing arms as part of a militia. It says,

        “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        A militia, btw, does not have to exist prior to a conflict. A militia often can be, and was at the time of the revolution, a group of like minded individuals who band together in arms. Please note the armed uprisings in Libya and Syria where there are many militias that were formed after the uprisings began.

        If the only militias protected by the constitution were pre-approved wouldn’t that make the entire amendment rather pointless?

        Now maybe you are wondering if gun-owners are all secretly planning an uprising? I can only speak for myself, but no. It is much better to effect change through voting and activism.

        However, there have been numerous disasters and riots in my lifetime. After Katrina, many of the police abandoned their posts. In New York after Sandy the police have been unable to reach many neighborhoods, and unable to communicate because of power and communications outages. Or think of the LA riots, where the defense of family, home, and self rested solely on the shoulders of the individual because the police could not help you in time. Heck, even in Oakland, CA during one of the post-Occupy Oakland riots a city official found it necessary to defend a building housing vital records against vandals, with a shotgun, in the middle of the birthplace of modern CA gun control.

        In each of these events, it is your constitutionally protected right to defend your family, your home, and your self against criminals who take any opportunity to steal, destroy, and even murder and rape.

  9. avatarNCG says:

    I think we’ll get over the marijuana thing soon. Check out the recent Gallup poll:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/record-high-americans-favor-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

    The fact that so many of the people opposed are over 65 is telling. The main proponents of continued prohibition are those with vested interests – the big commercial growers, and the law enforcement prison-industrial complex. And a lot of law enforcement people (especially local) find marijuana enforcement to be a waste of time. In Portland, marijuana is de-facto legal. Since Oregon law made it impossible to seize people’s property without due process, the PPB lost interest in pot. People smoke in public all the time, usually, but not always, discreetly. Kind of like having the bottle in a paper bag.

    While I don’t condone combining any drug (well, maybe a little caffeine) with firearms, there is no questions that I’d rather have stoners with guns than drunks with guns. I say this with some experience with both drugs.

  10. One of the funniest stories I’ve heard is what started this whole thing. Remember when one of you reasonable and intelligent gun buyers used his Medical Marijuana card as ID to try buying a gun. That’s the same kind of thinking as those tourists who visit NYC with their weapons without thinking anything of it.

    What IS wrong with you guys?

    My opinion: marijuana use is a disqualifier, period.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      Yeah, it’s probably much better to be an alcoholic with a gun, because the ATFE doesn’t ask about it. I certainly feel safer.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      So your opinions on MJ are just as draconian as the ones relating to our Bill of Rights. Why does this not surprise me?

    • avatarRuffRidr says:

      “My opinion: marijuana use is a disqualifier, period.”

      Is that an expert opinion?

    • avatarTom says:

      Actually, I think all the drugs need to be treated as alcohol and legalize the stuff. War on Drugs is a total failure. I have been watching it first hand since the 1960s.

    • avatarNCG says:

      Man, you hate the demon weed, too, mike. Is Chamomile tea okay?

      • No, not at all. I think pot should be legalized. I just don’t think gun owners should be using it.

        I feel the same way about alcohol, by the way.

        • avatarMark Smith says:

          Ever? Or just not while carrying a gun?

          I’ll definitely say that anyone under the influence shouldn’t be carrying a firearm, but if they leave the gun at home and have a drink at a bar or a joint, as long as they sober up, there’s no reason to avoid using firearms once they’re sober.

    • avatarTiger says:

      What about someone who got a card but then never used it ? How an you prove mere possession of the CARD = Unlawful use?

      Does merely being over 21 and legally allowed to drink or buy alcohol proof that everyone over 21 is drunk ?

      Specious argument. I’d love to get you and those like you on the stand and under oath.

    • avatarChris says:

      What about the kool-aid? Is that a disqualifier too?

  11. avatarmichael says:

    This is an originalist interpretation*, since the 2nd (or any) Amendment was never binding upon States in its original intent. I am, however, surprised in a way, considering the Federal government’s inclination to direct State legislation. The State could easily rectify the situation should they choose. Lastly, I’m guessing dope growers are not too concerned about concealed carry laws, one way or the other. And the medical users are for the most part probably not likely to be otherwise criminals. They should not be driving, though.

    * Actually, it is not an interpretation since they did not rule. But the point is the same.

  12. avatarGS650G says:

    Work through the system to change the laws and ultimately the 4473 if you think it’s wrong. Personally I think the medical marijuana system is abused to the point of ridiculous.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      I completely agree that medical pot laws are misused to the point of absurdity. My experience with the medical marijuana system (as a defense lawyer and frequent reader of unedited police reports) has shown me that the dying chemo patient or careful glaucoma sufferer is a very unusual specimen.

      Much more common is a stoner with ‘social anxiety’ or vague ‘chronic lower back pain’ who either 1) Is stoned all day, every day; or 2) Only needs to ‘medicate’ when their friends are coming over for dinner and a DVD movie, or after a long day of skiing or mountain-biking.

      I’m not a burner, and it would hold little appeal for me even if it were legalized tomorrow, but either it should be flat-out legalized or the medical loophole should be closed. Since pot seems to be safer than alcohol or tobacco, I’m with the 50% of Americans inclined towards legalization.

      • avatarNCG says:

        Definitely the medical thing is a huge Trojan Horse, and I say “Good!” Every political activist group does this (partial birth abortion, anyone?). That said, lets let those people who really do benefit from medical marijuana (it also really helps some people with MS, and various epileptic/seizure problems) use it without harassment, and fight about the rest of it at our leisure.

        For the court of TTAG opinion, let me state that I drink plenty, and I smoke pot maybe twice a year.

  13. avatartom is "squatch" says:

    Well, well, well! My personal doctor, the veterans administration, both recommended I obtain a MMJ card to treat my PTSD as a Vietnam Veteran. I refused because I chose to keep my right to purchase a firearm over treatment to calm my aggressive behavior. So now, I guess I’m an “ARMED” aggressive war veteran walking the streets among you all. “one of many” Oh, but it’s OK that I’m on 80mg. of oxicontin 3 times a day. My God, where is the reasoning ?

    Furthermore, because of Obama Care, My counselor informed me that the “free” concealing that I attend bi-weekly is going to start costing me $135.00 a month now. No way! I can buy a lot more ammo for my weapons with that money.

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