Federal Court Revokes Gun Ban for Marijuana Users, Calling Government’s Justification “Concerning”!

Federal Court Revokes Gun Ban for Marijuana Users, Calling Government's Justification "Concerning"!

A federal judge has ruled that the federal government’s argument for upholding the prohibition on gun possession by marijuana users is “concerning,” and hence the ban itself is unlawful. On Friday, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed an indictment against a man who was first accused in Oklahoma in 2022 after police found marijuana and a pistol in his vehicle during a traffic check.

Justice Patrick Wyrick sided with the lawyers and found that the legislation prohibiting “illegal” cannabis users from having firearms violates the Second Amendment. This ruling comes as a different federal court hears a lawsuit challenging the ban on behalf of former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) and a number of medical cannabis users.

The Trump appointee judge based his opinion in large part on his reading of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in which the justices generally set a higher standard for legislation that seeks to impose restrictions on gun rights. According to the ruling, any such regulations must be in line with the times and circumstances surrounding the enactment of the Second Amendment in 1791.

The judge said in Friday’s ruling that the government’s use of historical analogies to argue that the ban is consistent “misses the mark” and “cannot provide the basis for a historical analog,” including references to old case law prohibiting Catholics, loyalists, slaves, and Indians from having guns.

Additionally, the government’s view that marijuana users are “unvirtuous and hazardous” (if they are using it illegally) was addressed. According to Patrick Wyrick, “since the simple use of marijuana does not constitute violent, forceful, or threatening action, a user of marijuana does not automatically belong inside that group.”

Government attorneys have used similar reasoning in the Florida case, where plaintiffs are appealing the November dismissal of their action against the Department of Justice by a federal district court. Will Hall, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case, told Marijuana Moment on Monday that they are “informed” of the latest order and want to “address it in our forthcoming papers.”

And Fried had something to say about it, too. She tweeted on Sunday that “when you are right, you are right,” despite the fact that she is no longer personally involved in the relevant action and her successor has declined to join it in her stead. There’s a good chance that the DOJ will challenge Wyrick’s decision in a higher federal court.

Many people who support lifting the federal prohibition on cannabis use have stated that this issue isn’t really about gun rights. It’s more of a constitutional and public safety issue. It has been suggested by some in favor of the Florida case that the requirement imposed by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (ATF) essentially creates an incentive for cannabis customers to either lie on the form or acquire a firearm through an illegal means.

According to the ATF, “habitual marijuana users” and other disqualified individuals were able to obtain firearms illegally in Michigan due to the state’s lax cannabis laws, so in 2020, the ATF issued an advisory targeting Michigan that mandated federal background checks for all unlicensed gun buyers.

While this is going on, a Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would make it legal for people with medicinal marijuana cards to also acquire and have firearms in their homes. Similar legislation was proposed during the 116th Congress but was ultimately unsuccessful.

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