A US Air Force veteran has been barred from owning a gun because she uses marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Kim Petters, who served for a decade, has been legally using medical cannabis to combat the effects of PTSD.
However, the former soldier is now claiming federal law is violating her right to bear arms, simply by being honest about her use of legal marijuana.
“I follow doctors’ orders and state laws,” she told Delaware Online.
“Cannabis is the only medication in the entire US that makes you choose between medicine or second amendment rights, and that’s just not fair.”
Even if cannabis is legal according to state law, current legislation means it is still a controlled substance under federal law. This means anyone applying to purchase a firearm must declare if they use substances for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) check form.
Five years in jail
“So, if I lie on that form, and say no, I’ve created an entirely different felony, which could land me five years in jail,” Petters adds.
“But if I say yes, I’m denied purchase.”
Earlier this year, as a response to the relaxation of marijuana laws, the ATF added a reminder on its check form to alert potential firearms purchasers about the long-standing federal legislation.
As federal law supersedes state legislation, the law against cannabis users being allowed firearm possession must stand. This, say campaigners, highlights a need to change federal policy – something Petters is publicly supporting.
“I want the right to feel safe, I want the right to defend myself,” she concludes.
“I want my second amendment rights that I fought for.”