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View Full Version : L.A. Times: In Oregon, medical pot and guns go hand in hand


Southwest Chuck
04-17-2011, 7:40 AM
L.A. Time Article:

In Oregon, medical pot and guns go hand in hand (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pot-guns-20110417,0,187490.story)

The article does a poor job of giving the actual history/breakdown of the case, but interesting non the less.
Some snippets:

.......Oregon essentially requires sheriffs to issue concealed weapons permits unless the applicants have a history of violence, threats or illegal drug convictions.

The sheriffs argue that forcing them to issue the permits to marijuana users puts them in conflict with federal law, which makes it a crime for users of illegal drugs to possess a gun. Although 15 states (plus Washington, D.C.) now have medical marijuana laws, the substance remains illegal under federal law. ....

.....In his ruling in 2008, Circuit Court Judge Steven L. Price said the plaintiffs were "hardworking, honest, conscientious people who use medical marijuana as contemplated by the statute to alleviate pain and their symptoms. They are similarly responsible in their use and possession of weapons.".....

They are waiting on a ruling from the OR Supreme Court.

Window_Seat
04-17-2011, 8:43 AM
If one can be legally prescribed Vicodin, Soma, etc... and have a CCW permit from any state...

This issue is one that will likely soon be taken up by the USSC, someday, no?

:popcorn:

Erik.

Connor P Price
04-17-2011, 8:59 AM
The sheriffs argue that forcing them to issue the permits to marijuana users puts them in conflict with federal law, which makes it a crime for users of illegal drugs to possess a gun.

While I disagree with this issue on a fundamental level because I don't agree with the federal scheduling, this is a solid legal argument. Medical Marijuana users are prohibited persons by federal law so the sheriffs shouldn't be made to issue to them.

voiceofreason
04-17-2011, 10:01 AM
If one can be legally prescribed Vicodin, Soma, etc... and have a CCW permit from any state...
Erik.

The best point I've heard yet regarding this issue.

ChuangTzu
04-17-2011, 10:05 AM
While I disagree with this issue on a fundamental level because I don't agree with the federal scheduling, this is a solid legal argument. Medical Marijuana users are prohibited persons by federal law so the sheriffs shouldn't be made to issue to them.

As long as they don't have a recent conviction, or a pattern of convictions for drug crimes, they are NOT prohibited persons under federal law.

Connor P Price
04-17-2011, 10:17 AM
As long as they don't have a recent conviction, or a pattern of convictions for drug crimes, they are NOT prohibited persons under federal law.

I don't believe that to be the case, my understanding is that the law states that users of illicit drugs are prohibited. It does not require a conviction.

Just like on a 4473:
Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?

Please note: I'm not saying that I agree with this or that it is morally acceptable. However, the law is what it is for now.

Gray Peterson
04-17-2011, 10:50 AM
While I disagree with this issue on a fundamental level because I don't agree with the federal scheduling, this is a solid legal argument. Medical Marijuana users are prohibited persons by federal law so the sheriffs shouldn't be made to issue to them.

A few things as pointed out here.

A) Unlike California, Oregon does not require specific registration or licensing of guns on permits at all.

B) A permit issuance itself does not violate federal law. It does not put a gun in the OMMP card holder's hand. It is purely an license that exempts someone from the crime of carrying a gun concealed under state law.

C) The state's law doesn't allow for said denial.

RobG
04-17-2011, 11:23 AM
If one can be legally prescribed Vicodin, Soma, etc... and have a CCW permit from any state...

This issue is one that will likely soon be taken up by the USSC, someday, no?

:popcorn:

Erik.

The best point I've heard yet regarding this issue.

Difference being, one is against federal law and one is not. No?

Connor P Price
04-17-2011, 11:50 AM
A few things as pointed out here.

A) Unlike California, Oregon does not require specific registration or licensing of guns on permits at all.

B) A permit issuance itself does not violate federal law. It does not put a gun in the OMMP card holder's hand. It is purely an license that exempts someone from the crime of carrying a gun concealed under state law.

C) The state's law doesn't allow for said denial.

All good points. Since they are shall issue, they issue by default and need a reason to deny, but its not a legitimate reason for denial by state law. I hadn't quite thought of it that way, but there is still something at odds here. We're talking about people that shouldn't have guns by federal law, but exempting them from the crime of carrying a concealed gun. It doesn't make any sense, just like most laws involving guns.

Do I think that medicinal marijuana users should be denied? Of course not. So it seems to me that the federal law prohibiting users of marijuana from possessing firearms is the problem.

This is what we get when we have politicians writing laws simply for the sake of looking "tough on crime" or "hard on the drug issue" but they don't care for a minute about what the laws actually do.

smt77
04-17-2011, 11:53 AM
It seems to me that the issuance of a CCW is a separate issue from somebody purchasing a firearm. Whether or not an individual has a carry permit has no bearing on whether they can actually purchase a firearm. Are there any legal eagles who care to chime in on whether illegal (federal) marijuana use creates a federal prohibition on firearm ownership or just a prohibition on purchasing one? It seems that the two issues, though related, may be mutually exclusive of each other being that I'm not aware of any federal guidelines regarding permit issuance.

smt77
04-17-2011, 11:56 AM
I also seem to recall a case somewhere in the Midwest, I think, where a marijuana user sued because they could not purchase a gun due to the federal law and the judge ruled that all they had to do to be able to purchase was to stop using.

ChuangTzu
04-17-2011, 12:12 PM
I don't believe that to be the case, my understanding is that the law states that users of illicit drugs are prohibited. It does not require a conviction.


The law certainly states what you say, but in order for someone to be legally considered a drug user, they need to be adjudicated as such in some way, in practice this means at least one conviction for a drug-related crime. I think different jurisdictions may have different standards of recency of conviction and/or number of convictions per time period which define what a drug user actually is.

Someone pointed out that the granting of a CCW does not put a gun in your hand. In addition, having a MMJ card does not put marijuana in your hand. Having a MMJ card means a doctor recommended that you consume marijuana for some condition, it doesn't mean you have ever used it, much less are a current drug user. Maybe you've never "filled your prescription". This is why some legal documentation of actual drug use is important and why a conviction for drug possession is usually required to be considered a drug user. The only exceptions I can think of are if you admit to being a drug user, or if you failed a drug test while being screened for the commission of some other crime.

ChuangTzu
04-17-2011, 12:20 PM
I can't find a good source right now, but this sounds like it's about right:

Current federal law already specifies that two kinds of drug users can be barred from owning a gun: (1) Those who have been convicted of possessing or using a controlled substance in the past year and (2) Anyone who has had multiple drug arrests in the past five years, including one within a year of applying for a firearm, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.


http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/23/new-gun-control-legislation-would-prohibit-those-arrested-but-not-convicted-of-drug-crimes-from-possessing-firearms/

And the article points out another reason to oppose the MAIG shenanigans. Banning anyone who has even been arrested for a drug crime, even if no conviction was obtained??? Sheesh. *******s.

Connor P Price
04-17-2011, 12:36 PM
I've seen the one year figure before, it seems to be generally understood that if somebody has abstained from using for a year then they are no longer considered drug users and are free to possess guns.

There are two reasons I think it's still important to recognize the distinction between convicted users being prohibited and simply users being prohibited. First, it doesn't seem right to me because people should always be innocent until proven guilty, this law seems to assume guilt before conviction. Second, if for example I were a gun owner who used marijuana occasionally to alleviate pain and had a medical marijuana card, I'm prohibited from owning guns by federal law which opens me up to legal issues even though I've never been convicted.