michigan-medical-marijuana-card-courtesy-ammoland-com

The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners writes [via ammoland.com]:

kimber_blk_logo_smallWe often get questions on the interplay between firearm ownership and Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act. It is a complex and changing area of law. We know that federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)) makes it a felony for an “unlawful user of … any controlled substance” to “possess … any firearm or ammunition.” Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, so it is a felony for a user of marijuana to possess a firearm or ammunition. Juxtapose this with the fact that 28 states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws legalizing the medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana.

The main question we get is: “I have a MMMA Card, can I still get a CPL and own and possess firearms?”

To get a License to Purchase a pistol or a Concealed Pistol License in Michigan, you must also pass a federal background check (NICS check). This brings federal law into the Michigan scheme of licensing. The ATF takes the position that anyone with a MMMA card is probably using and therefore they are not allowed to possess a firearm until 12 months after their last use. So, even having a card is a prohibitor in the eyes of the federal government.

Some argue that this may be a leap as a person with a MMMA card may not use marijuana the same as a CPL holder may not ever carry a pistol. The federal law has been challenged and been upheld so far. Courts have, without any real empirical evidence, assumed a connection between marijuana use and gun violence.

The Michigan database on who has a MMMA card does not talk to the State or Federal databases that are used for background checks. So, unless the person admits they have the card there is no real way for anyone to find out. But you must fill out certain forms when you apply for a License to Purchase or CPL and you are stepping into a grey area when the marijuana question must be answered. Hopefully, we will get some clarity from new legislation or court cases in the future to make this interaction between laws more sensible.

More information about medical marijuana and firearms ownership can be found HERE.

About MCRGO:

The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day. Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org.

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42 Responses to Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: Michigan Medical Marijuana Users Can’t Keep and Bear Arms

  1. After nfa and national reciprocity this is going to be the big battle. We need to press this one hard cause it will put dens in a very uncomfortable position: either they will have to acknowledge a right to own firearms for drug users (and by extension, everyone) or they will have to admit that weed makes people unfit to own firearms, which would mean it probably shouldn’t be legalized at all.

    • The trend is obvious, it’s going to be legalized. The push should be to remove it from the federal Schedule 1. Which is going to happen someday anyway, as apparently the federal government can carry out raids against legal pot-growing businesses. That kind of thing is destructive as hell to the Union, so it will be resolved sooner or later, one way or the other. Personally I think we’re looking at another gay-marriage situation — unthinkable 8 years ago, even Obama was against it, but in the course of a very few short years his opinion “evolved”, and the next thing you know it’s the law of the land from sea to shining sea. Seems obvious marijuana is on the same path.

      • That battle is lost, that’s for sure. There may be a few states or counties which hold out but I wouldn’t count past one hand. And the last thing stoners are going to do is fire a gun! Nothing mellow about it. I’m sure a few do here and there, or at least as seen on youtube, but…Their behavior is well documented, as is their driving, which while still unsafe and terribly selfish, tends to be miles below speed limits because of paranoia. Put a hundred stoners in a room, bombed out of their minds, and give them guns and see what happens. It will be a lot different then with a hundred drunks in the same room with the same firearms. This whole argument by the state is absurd and should be fought. What’s next? Antidepressants? Then a third of the country will be ineligible.

    • Just bought a rifle today out here on the left coast where marijuana has been decriminalized…… NICBC didn’t ask about weed use. If I did smoke, I could buy no problem and/or get a CCW no problem (depending on county/sheriff….. shall issue my ass).

  2. I’ve purchased from Gun Broker.com and also Palmetto State Armory, plus one private party purchase, all here in Michigan. The 1st 2 went thru my local FFL where I had to answer a questionnaire. The private purchase simply required me to obtain a permit to purchase from my local Law Enforcement Agency, and then drop off a completed copy AFTER I’d completed that purchase.

    In NO case, of the above, have I been subjected to any type of background check. Presumably, after dropping off the completed purchase forms to my local Law Enforcement Agency, they MAY have cross checked my name against any data bases they have access to. However, I’m not aware of that.

    I don’t smoke weed, so that question was not an issue for me.

    • Um, hate to break it to you, but that ‘questionnaire’ was the 4473, which means they ran the nics check right after you filled it out. Unless your state recognizes your ccw as your nics check, which means they ran the check when you got your ccw license. Either way, you’ve had a background check.

      • Yep. An FFL cannot and will not transfer to you unless you’ve passed the NICS background check, which, as Vhyrus said, either happened commensurate with the Form 4473 you had to sign (and which asks specifically if you’re a user of an illegal drug) or, perhaps, your concealed permit satisfies the background check requirement, but the only way that happens is if the process of getting your permit includes going through a more-extensive background check. That’s the way it works in Texas; the background check is far more involved than the NICS, so having undergone it satisfies the NICS checks for as long as the license is valid.

      • Michigan does accept a CCW (called a CPL here) in lieu of a background check, but because he had to get a permit to purchase for the private sale, he almost certainly doesn’t have one (there is just a form that the two parties fill out for the private sale of a handgun to a CPL holder). And when the original poster went to get the permit to purchase, his local law enforcement ran a background check.

  3. Yeah right…get yer pot the old fashioned way. DO NOT involve the gubmint. I do sympathize but you’re not going to win this one.

    • The old fashioned way? Oh you mean giving money to murderous cartels so they can oppress millions of people in central and South America, while simultaneously putting your own rights in jeopardy. Sure, ok. While you’re at it, let’s just ignore the nfa and build our guns “the old fashioned way” as well.

      Bad laws should be fought and removed, not accepted and broken.

      • What makes you think everyone gets their pot from the Cartel? Nothing will happen until pot is legalized-and Donnie won’t do it. He’s already hangin’ with AlGore…as I said I sympathize but dealing with the gubmint for “rights” is a dead end.

  4. I believe in Florida where they just passed medical marijuana care takers have to get a card to obtain the meds for the person on the pot. So not only the patient needs a card if a family member is going to help they need one also.

  5. It’s a conundrum and creates a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, POTG would like to see national reciprocity to carry, but on the other, state’s rights on legalized marijuana clash with Federal law, so many want to see the Feds stay out of it at the state level. Obviously, there’s work to be done on both fronts – with the preference being for National Constitutional Carry and an end to the war on drugs, as well.

    • All of these government imposed conundrums disappear if law enforcement would actually enforce Common Law (if there is no victim, there is no crime) and stop enforcing all the stupid — and often conflicting — laws by legislative fiat (also known as victimless contempt of bureaucracy laws).

  6. I smoked pot every day for 30 years. I can’t really think of anything good that came of it in all those years. I do agree it has medical value that is barely realized, and it should not be criminalized. It is however not necessarily a good habit for young folks and may make success in life much more difficult to achieve. I got lucky. I’ve been blessed. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this whole RTKBA thing wasn’t a part of the calculus in my decision to quit (years ago), but certainly not the entirety of it by any stretch. The whole drug screen for job thing played a bigger part. So while it may not be criminal now as it once was, and you may be able to get a med card for it and readily buy it at a store, I am very glad about my decision and every day I remember how I am just that little bit more FREE because I don’t use it anymore. And not because i can strap on a gun with no concern about breaking the law, but because not using it means I don’t need it nor want it, and that in itself is liberating. And I’m all about freedom. One less thing, ya know?

    • They just legalized it here in California, something I always dreamed of as a teen and then a stupid young adult. Now I worry about my son having such easy access to it while I also worry about getting my AR before the law changes in 3 weeks.

      • I’m sorry to break it for you, but your son already has easy access to it, if he wants to. Especially on the West coast.

  7. This is news? There is a new 4473 out (I filled one out 2 weeks ago) that is EXPLICIT that using marijuana is a disqualifying condition. And last I checked, you have to sign the 4473 under penalty of perjury.

    • There’s a reason that denying stoners access to firearms always touches a raw nerve with Farago and the TTAG staff. Remember this article from October 2015?

      Housekeeping: The TTAG Team Creates Marijuana Website” The people who bring you The Truth About Guns have launched a new website dedicated to marijuana news: mjnewsfeed.com It’s not a blog. It’s a news aggregator – with a difference. The software contains a proprietary algorithm (thank you, Nick) that automatically personalizes the content you see based on your reading preferences. (Provided you sign in with a Facebook account. If not, the site remains anonymous.) Click on the leaf to see a blurb, then decide whether or not you want to eat some more chocolate chip cookies. I mean, read the full story. Better yet, mjnewsfeed.com’s

      Don’t bother trying to pull up this original post, http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/10/robert-farago/housekeeping-the-ttag-team-creates-marijuana-website/ , it has since been “wiped” from the TTAG website.

      • Here I was thinking that it had something to do with the wording of the 2A not containing any qualifying language…

  8. If you’re gotta toke that chronic do what people have done for 100 years: buy it from a dealer.

    No taxes, no records, true free market. Plus if the weed makes you paranoid you can prolly score a Xanax too.

    Just because this topic comes up so much and I seem to be on a video link kick today (Don’t listen if you hate rap, dubstep or a combination of both. Honestly, this is the first and only dubstep song I’ve ever heard that didn’t make me want to forcefully “clean” my ears with a icepick.):

  9. As usual, MCRGO did not explain this correctly at all. All they are good for is taking money from naive gun owners to pay themselves salaries.

    Not to mention some members of their BoD are in the state house/senate and support gun control.

    • That is the org that has legislaors as board members, and has pushed gun control bills in the last couple sessions, if i recall correctly.

      Didn’t they claim to stakehorse a federal case over a thing in Grand Rapids then when their in house attorney couldn’t pull it off they made it a loan the the poor bastard had to pay back! They never did file an appeal screwing the rest of us and leaving a crap judge to do as they please.

      This article is crap and so is the putz that gets paid to post crap for MCRGO.

  10. Trump should just shut down the DEA and save $2bn a year.

    More realistically…
    There have been at least two federal commission which concluded there is no reason to have marijuana a Sched. 1 drug. Trump could just issue an executive order based on those and classify it down to Sched. IV or even V, where it belongs.

    • If it was lowered to a schedule 4 or 5 drug would that be enough to take the marijuana question off the 4473? Or does it need to be completely taken off those lists like alcohol and tobacco?

      • Anything that’s below Schedule 1 would remove it from the list provided that you are not addicted to it or using it unlawfully (without and Rx or with a manner inconsistent with it’s labeling/instructions such as taking Xanax without an Rx, or having one and crushing and snorting the pills or in a state where it’s still illegal I guess).

        Such is the case with scheduled substances, abuse or illegal use is a DQ if you read the language.

        “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” -4473

        “The term “controlled substance” means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.” -Controlled Substances Act 21 U.S.C. § 802(6)

        Now I would ask the following question: What does the 4473’s language technically mean? Does that “any” in front of “depressant” and “stimulant” potentially refer to booze, coffee and smokes or is it overridden by the “any other” in front of “controlled substance” in which case it’s OK to be addicted to them because they are not controlled substances?

        I’ve had internet lawyers tell me that it doesn’t affect booze, smokes or caffeine but I have no reason to believe that an enterprising government lawyer couldn’t have you stripped of your 2A rights for drinking more than a judge thought was acceptable or for smoking cigarettes or using dip if the government didn’t like you for some reason.

  11. I think it is a ridiculous measure by the gov to keep one more demographic (pot smokers) out of firearm ownership. Those who truly support the RKBA should try and fight this. Maybe the Trump administration can remove it from the list of controlled substances. Until then it is not worth the risk to smoke it if you want to keep your RKBA.

  12. strych9 and Kyle, applying hard headed idiocy in lieu of lucid rational thought is how you arrive at the ridiculously shallow assumption that the words “shall not be infringed” provide some sort of “Kings X” which negates the consequences of conduct resulting in a “Prohibited Person” forfeiting their right “keep and bear arms”.

    • What are you? Some kind of communist control freak? There is no limiting the second for any reason. Just because someone smokes weed is no reason to deny their natural rights. Neither should felons who have done their time be denied theirs either. YOu either believe in freedom or you don’t, you obviously are in the latter category.

    • Being depressed at some point in your life is now “conduct”?

      Allowing the government to make up bullshit reasons you might be “prohibited” and then following them is a good idea?

      This is pretty simple: Back in the day once you paid your debt to society all your rights were restored. That’s the way it should be now. If you’re too dangerous to walk into a store and buy a gun you’re too dangerous to be on the streets in the first place.

  13. > The Michigan database on who has a MMMA card does not talk to the State or Federal databases that are used for background checks. So, unless the person admits they have the card there is no real way for anyone to find out.

    Sure there is. They can get a federal warrant to access that database – and federal courts will happily issue one, because by its very nature that database is a record of people committing a federal crime. Or, better yet, they can skip it altogether, and issue an “adminsitrative subpoena”, which is a fancy way to say “you’re gonna give me what I want, and no, I don’t need a warrant”.

    And yes, they’re already doing these things.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana/2013/04/11/feds-scoop-up-medical-marijuana-patient-records-in-oregon-investigation/

    http://hotair.com/archives/2015/09/12/so-the-dea-has-been-seizing-patient-records-without-a-warrant/

    Now think about what Jeff “the biggest problem with KKK is that they smoke weed” Sessions can do with all this…

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