Medical Marijuana and Second Amendment Rights


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– “People are going to go out and get a medical marijuana card and they are going to lose their Second Amendment rights,” says Nathan House.

A warning from gun dealers about the realities of federal law and the use of medical marijuana.

Eleven days ago Arkansas voters changed the State Constitution to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law.

At the Arkansas Armory they take their gun rights very seriously.

“I think the Second Amendment to the constitution guarantees the rest of the rights that we have in the Bill of Rights,” said Nathan House, owner of Arkansas Armory.

But that amendment to the U.S. Constitution may been coming into conflict with the newest change to the Arkansas Constitution, legalizing medical marijuana.

“This is what we have to do anytime we sell a firearm to someone over the counter,” said House.

It’s called ATF Form 4473, a new version federally licensed gun dealers will begin using in January, makes it clear.  

Use or possession of marijuana violates federal law regardless of whether its been legalized in the state where you live.

“If they indicate that they are a user of marijuana then that’s correct. We will not sell them a firearm. If you lie to a federal firearms licensed dealer you can be thrown in prison for up to ten years and pay a very hefty fine,” said House.

Scott Morbeck is a gun owner who says federal law should allow medical marijuana users to retain their gun rights.

“What you do for treatment is between you and your doctor and not the state, not the government, and not anyone else,”said Morbeck.

But a 2011 open letter from the ATF to gun dealers warns there are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana use.

In Arkansas, medical cannabis cards could start being issued early next year potentially putting gun users in the cross hairs of competing state and federal laws.

“I think most of our customers are shocked and surprised that that is the case,” said House.

The Arkansas sponsor of the Medical Marijuana Amendment says this is something Congress needs to clear up.

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