The potential legalization of marijuana has become a very hot topic of late, with the federal government making some pro-legalization noises. Legalization has been a core tenant of libertarianism for years, of course, so most libertarians are thrilled.
However, the truth is that legalization may well yield significant benefits for the Second Amendment.
You see, under federal law, it’s illegal for anyone who uses a schedule 1 controlled substance to also possess a firearm. Also under current federal law, guess what’s classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance?
That’s right, marijuana.
While numerous states have legalized pot to some degree, that doesn’t negate federal law on the matter.
Many may not see the big deal. After all, most gun laws seem to be enforced at the state and local levels, and if they legalize marijuana, surely they won’t worry about federal regulations.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
In 2017, Honolulu police cross-referenced medical marijuana permits with gun permits, then demanded those with both to turn in their weapons.
The same thing happened in 2018 in Pennsylvania.
In 2019, a Maine man filed a lawsuit to challenge the law after he was convicted.
So yeah, this is an issue — and it’s a serious one. Especially for people who may be suffering, yet refuse to use this particular treatment out of fear they’ll face prosecution which, if found guilty, would strip them of their gun rights for life.
Yet federal legislation legalizing marijuana would change all that, depending on how the law was structured. Even rescheduling the drug to schedule 2 would likely eliminate many of the problems. Schedule 2 drugs are tightly controlled but are eligible to be prescribed by a physician. Further, though, using those drugs lawfully isn’t grounds for prosecution.
The best case is outright legalization. At this point, we have loads of data showing that legalization does not lead to more crimes or even more use of heavier drugs, so there’s no reason not to legalize it. Yet, at a minimum, we need medical legalization.
Then, those who have marijuana cards won’t have to worry about someone sending them a letter demanding their guns simply because they’re getting medically treated.
And since gun owners will be free to use it to treat any number of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, it’s ultimately going to be a good thing for them.
Frankly, this should have happened long, long ago.