By Emily Taylor
A new topic that’s sparking conversations nationwide is the legality of cannabidiol or CBD oil. The extract is legal in most states and has become hugely popular. But while many medical patients swear by its healing effects, gun owners nationwide could find CBD oil to be a huge source of pain when it comes to their Second Amendment rights.
What is CBD?
CBD oil, used for medicinal purposes, is spreading like wildfire among people in the United States and abroad. CBD is often synthesized from the oily resin of the cannabis plant to create edibles, gel caps, topicals, beverages, and vape oil cartridges.
People use these products to treat everything from epilepsy to arthritis. Despite its popularity, it’s very important to realize anything related to cannabis triggers potential criminal liability under both state and federal law.
Federal law considers cannabis or marijuana a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This classification under the act equates marijuana with heroin and other hard drugs and states it lacks any medicinal value, has a high potential for abuse, and cannot safely be prescribed.
Whatever the laws are in various states, merely possessing cannabis is a federal misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or a year in prison.
In 2018, the Federal Farm Bill was passed and lifted a ban on hemp production, removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. This effectively cleared the chamber for CBD oils derived from hemp to hit the marketplace. However, federal authorities were quick to point out that any CBD oil products marketed as therapeutic or added to food products were essentially the same as adding a prescription drug and will be regulated similarly.
Let’s take a look at three common misconceptions when it comes to CBD oil.
Misconception #1: CBD is legal in my state, so I have nothing to fear when carrying a firearm
Many people believe that if CBD oil is legal in their state, then they have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this is wrong. If you want to remain a legal gun owner, you should pause before you inhale or consume any product containing CBD oil.
If you’re using CBD oil as a treatment plan or have a medical marijuana prescription, you might inadvertently become classified as an unlawful user under federal law. If you are an unlawful user, you would no longer be legally eligible to purchase, own, possess, or transport firearms.
Not only that, but most states require that to be eligible for a handgun license or permit, you must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law. If you’re classified as an unlawful user under federal law, you could become ineligible, or worse yet, you could lose your state-issued handgun license or permit.
Misconception #2: All CBD Oil is the same
People mistakenly believe all CBD oil is created equally and legally. Unfortunately, CBD oil is produced by different companies and some don’t mind bending the rules to move their products quickly. Often times, CBD oil users are surprised to discover their pain relief comes with an unintended ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
THC is the psychoactive and intoxicating component found in marijuana and can cause everything from eating too many Doritos to failing a drug test at work.
Not only could a CBD oil user be fired from their job for an honest mistake, but they could also be prosecuted. Many jurisdictions treat THC-laced CBD oil as a controlled substance worthy of a felony charge, no matter how much or how little you may have in your possession when law enforcement discovers it.
Misconception #3: As long as I have my prescription, I can take my CBD into any state
Many people believe that if they have a valid prescription or license to smoke marijuana or CBD oil in their home state, they may legally transport their medicine to another state. This is not true and could land you in hot water in both federal and state court. Hot water that could jeopardize your gun rights.
Just like handgun license reciprocity, you have to follow the laws of the state you find yourself in. That means if marijuana or CBD oil is illegal in the state you’re visiting, you could find yourself in a jail cell for merely possessing either substance.
That’s why the best practice when considering whether to try CBD oil is to do your homework and research the laws of your state before buying CBD oil. Failing to do so could cost you your gun rights and your freedom.
Emily Taylor is a program attorney with US LawShield.