Medical Marijuana and Guns: Bad Idea?

The U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau -- which, as we noted earlier this week, is the same agency that lets drug cartel members buy guns -- is warning firearms dealers not to sell guns to medical marijuana users.

The ATF wrote a letter to firearms dealers earlier this week warning them that federal law prohibits any user of a controlled substance from possessing or buying guns.

Clearly, that's a bit of a problem here in gun-lovin', medical-weed-smokin' Arizona.

See our story on the matter here.

Our colleague Ray Stern points out the following in his post:

A standard form filled out by gun buyers asks if the buyer is a "user of" or "addicted" to any controlled substance -- checking "yes" effectively cancels the sale.

Federal law goes even further, states the letter by Arthur Herbert, ATF assistant director of enforcement programs and services, banning sales if the gun dealer merely has a "reasonable cause to believe" a buyer might be a pot user.

"'Therefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user" and cannot own or buy firearms," Herbert writes.

Stern goes on to mention that "It doesn't appear, however, that the ATF has the power to cross-check gun purchases with the state's list of marijuana card-holders, meaning that from a pot patient's point of view, the system is somewhat 'on-your-honor.' It doesn't seem likely that many card-holders would, as Herbert says, offer a state-issued medical-marijuana card as identification during a gun purchase."

Stoners and guns -- on the surface -- don't seem like the greatest combination, despite what the ATF's power may be.

But we want to know what you think: should having a medical-marijuana card exclude you from your Second Amendment right to own a gun?

Cast your vote below.

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James King
Contact: James King