ATF: "Medicinal" Marijuana Trumps 2nd Amendment

A number of states have recently passed medicinal marijuana laws. I do not have a strong opinion about these, although I do know of a young girl here in Georgia whose seizures were finally brought under control by its use. (Georgia's own very limited such law was brought on by a similar case, but not the same one.)

The ATF would like you to know, however, that if you obtain a card allowing you to purchase medicinal marijuana, you are barred from owning a firearm.
Under the ATF’s policy, not only are users of marijuana prohibited from possessing firearms, but a person may not transfer a firearm to an individual if the transferor knows that the transferee holds a medical marijuana card.

Importantly, this second prohibition applies even where the cardholder does not actually use any marijuana.
I could see an "under the influence" law pertaining to carrying or using a firearm. An ownership ban seems excessive to me.


Texan99 said...

Truly. Do we ban ownership of firearms to anyone who's old enough to buy liquor?

The attitude towards marijuana is crazy. My main objection to it is that it's death on the lungs, worse than cigarettes. But give me a marijuana habit over booze any day, for the pure impact on mental and physical health.

Eric Blair said...

Vindictive bureaucrats. With guns.

raven said...

Not being a lawyerly type- why was it necessary to pass a constitutional amendment to outlaw alcohol, but not to outlay marijuana? Was it that the necessary alphabet agency was not in existence in 1921?

Tom said...

No. It took an amendment to ban manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol because FDR hadn't been president and pushed the USSC to reinterpret the meaning of the Interstate Commerce Clause to allow the Feds to regulate anything that might conceivably affect interstate commerce yet. That's all.

Interestingly, between 1937 and 1943, FDR selected all 9 USSC justices. Would that the conservatives could be so lucky now.

douglas said...

I voted against legalization here in Cali. Tex, I've seen too many people with serious psychological problems related to pot use- psychosis, paranoia. Many more who degraded their lives all the while convinced it made them better. Funny thing is California may have legalized just in time for a DOJ that's possibly going to enforce federal law in some fashion, thus negating to some extent the legalization. Or perhaps California will secede!

Texan99 said...

I'm not going to try to tell you you're wrong, and I certainly honor your legitimate concern for people who ruin their lives with psychoactive substances. I come to a different conclusion, because I believe you can't prevent people from ruining their lives by the simple expedient of removing all the psychoactive substances from the world, and the harm from criminalizing the substances seems to me to outweigh the harm from the substances themselves. It's just too darned easy to make a psychoactive substance, considering how trivially easy it is to ferment alcohol from practically everything around us. My nephew would drink the vanilla from the bottle if he couldn't get his hands on anything else. The problem is what's in someone's head.

As friends and loved ones and family members and even psych workers or doctors, we may or may not be able to help someone with a propensity to addiction and self-destruction. The state seems to have next to no ability to do more harm than good on the subject.

I believe the state's role should be limited to giving members of society some leverage when an addict demonstrates an inability to control himself, whether that means taking away his keys for the night, taking away his license long-term, committing him to a hospital temporarily, or locking him up long-term. In this context, I'd treat all psychoactive substances exactly like alcohol, which is to say that I'd judge the situation by the severity of the resulting behavioral problem rather than the reputation of the substance. I'd lock up a drunk who can't stop driving around, but I'd leave a heroin addict alone as long as he could control himself. Is it a disaster waiting to happen? Sure, and so is a bottle of whiskey to someone who doesn't know when to stop.

I'm open to argument that some psychoactive drugs are so instantly disastrous that they should be treated like poison, but even then I'd focus on the person selling the poison rather than the suicidal person who voluntarily ingests it. The limits to which I'm prepared to go to use impersonal state force to prevent a suicidal person from succeeding in his ambition are strictly limited.

douglas said...

Yes, I pretty much agree with you, BUT, since pot was supposedly illegal, I figured leaving it so didn't entirely violate the principles you just laid out. Doesn't matter- I've realized for a while that the social acceptance of pot is so great, there's no stopping it's legalization, I don't think.

Also, you're completely correct about addiction being in people- I could smoke a pack of cigarettes tonight, and despite the fact that nicotine is supposedly as addictive as heroin, I could then not have another cigarette for years, maybe forever, and not care. I don't have an addictive personality. Of course, that makes it difficult for me to form and keep good habits too! Everything is a blessing and a curse, I guess.