Guns or marijuana, but not both

Montana Free Press – by  Max Savage Levenson

While marijuana became legal for adults to purchase in Montana on New Year’s Day, a key federal agency has confirmed a fact underreported in coverage of the state’s new marijuana program: It remains illegal under federal law for individuals to simultaneously possess marijuana or marijuana products and firearms, and penalties for violating that law are severe. 

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed the policy to Montana Free Press last week, noting that the federal Gun Control Act prohibits a person who possesses a controlled substance from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Cannabis is currently recognized as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.

“The Gun Control Act (GCA) prohibits a person who uses a controlled substance from possessing a firearm or ammunition,” ATF Public Information Officer Crystal McCoy told MTFP.

The question is complicated by a federal form required for purchasing a firearm. It asks the applicant, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” The form does not specify that even if marijuana is lawful in the applicant’s state of residence, it remains unlawful in the eyes of the bureau.

“Anyone who is currently using marijuana, whether for ‘medicinal’ purposes or otherwise, should answer ‘yes’ [on the form],” McCoy explained via email.

McCoy further noted that the Bureau’s position is longstanding. She cited a 2011 open letter penned by Arthur Herbert, the Bureau’s Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services, offering guidance on the subject. “Marijuana, as mentioned above, is listed in the [Controlled Substance Act] as a Schedule I controlled substance … and Federal law does not provide any exception allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, even if authorized by state law,” Herbert wrote at the time.

McCoy additionally cited a 2011 case in which S. Rowan Wilson, a medical marijuana patient in Nevada, claimed in court that the policy violated her constitutional rights. In 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Wilson and in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF.

In Montana, enforcement of the policy largely hinges on self-reporting, since the state is prohibited from tracking marijuana customers or putting them on a list. The Montana Department of Revenue and Department of Justice both declined to provide comment for this story. DOJ suggested contacting a federal agency.

Violations of the law are punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

As the libertarian Reason Foundation points out, the policy is unlikely to change until either marijuana is descheduled from the list of federally controlled substances or the Gun Control Act is amended to include exceptions for medical marijuana patients or states with legal marijuana markets.

Montana Free Press

3 thoughts on “Guns or marijuana, but not both


    From my personal experience, (as our office does certify pts for med mar) pts forego the right to carry permit if they have a med mar card in PA. I can tell you that I advise all pts of this. I can confirm that med mar card holders in pa can/have bought guns at shops. I can also tell you that the pts coming in for MM cards are cupcakes, have no desire to own a gun, and wear 4 masks. There are maybe a small handful of pts that have requested their MM card be rescinded because of this gun “law”.
    I’ll also add that the amount of prescription narcs and benzos is astounding! (Not by my doc, but know b/c of prescription history of new patient inquiries and checking their pharm history. esp since rona scam hit, more people on Benzos and med mar than ever)! The pa cardholder count is over 719K as of this moment. You can’t tell me people prescribed narcs and benzos don’t buy guns!
    Further, the gca violates the BOR. So, TPTB can’t (but they do) impose restrictions and violations on we the people. The atf has no grounds to enforce anything. And so on.

    1. Yeah they can, if the pussies allow it. Any time the pussies want to stand up a thousand to one against these jewish commie pricks, you’ll see how fast 34,000 mother f-kers can be put in the ground.

  2. your personal information is mined by the pot shops

    do you have to give your ID , address and phone number to buy alcohol?
    no just show you are of age

    weed … well they want every bit of personal info to put in their data base before you get to buy and its not just your age
    nothing good will come of this ..
    it should be no different than the requirements to buy booze , but it isnt ..and everyone should know why

    all about tracking you , and limiting your freedom and liberty

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