Guns and medical marijuana: You can't have both, despite Amendment 2

Guns and medical marijuana: You can’t have both, despite Amendment 2

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Marijuana will be available recreationally in Michigan and medicinally in Missouri and Utah. USA TODAY Medical marijuana may have been legalized in Missouri, but those who opt to take advantage will be jeopardizing their Second Amendment right to buy and possess a gun. Under federal law, Missouri residents won’t legally be able to have a license for medical marijuana and possess a firearm at the same time, even though voters overwhelmingly added Amendment 2 to the Missouri Constitution on Tuesday. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote a 2011 open letter that explains federal law on guns and marijuana. John Ham, public information officer with the ATF’s Kansas City Field Division, said the mandates outlined in the letter still apply. Anyone who is an "unlawful user of or addicted to" any controlled substances is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, the letter says. "The actual language is there’s no exception under federal law for medicinal marijuana," Ham told the News-Leader Thursday morning. "That sums up the entire letter." More: How will Missouri police deal with the new marijuana law? Local law enforcement concerned More: When can I get my medical marijuana ‘prescription’? A timeline for Amendment 2. From the federal perspective, state law on marijuana doesn’t matter. "Marijuana is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I controlled substance," the ATF letter says, "and there are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law." It’s also against federal law to sell a firearm or ammunition to anyone "knowing or having reasonable cause to believe" that the buyer is an "unlawful user," according to the letter. Having a state-issued license to possess and use medical marijuana would count as reasonable cause to suspect […]

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