Senate Measure Seeks To Protect Gun Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

by Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post  |  published on June 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — An amendment offered in the Senate Wednesday would block the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from targeting legal gun owners just because they’re also medical marijuana patients.

Submitted by Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), the amendment to a Senate budgetary bill would ban the ATF from using its funds to criminalize the possession of firearms by medical marijuana patients in the 22 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for medical use. The amendment would also protect patients in the states that have legalized CBD oil — a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is frequently used to treat epilepsy — for limited medical use or research.

A 2011 letter issued by the ATF told federal firearm licensees that they are not allowed to sell ammunition or firearms to marijuana users, even if that person is in full compliance with state laws. “[A]ny person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” the letter states.

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