Medical Marijuana Patients Are Being Told To Give Up Their Guns

Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. now allow patients to have access to medical marijuana, but some of these patients are bumping up against a federal law that prohibits the sale of guns to people who use marijuana. 

Authorities in Pennsylvania and Hawaii have spoken out last week, declaring that people who have medical marijuana licenses in those states will need to give up access to firearms. 

The decisions are tied to a 50-year-old law, which was upheld in a Supreme Court ruling last year. 

“The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits anyone from possessing guns if they use or are addicted to cannabis,” Christopher Morales, a California criminal defense attorney, told Leafly. The law forbids people who use federally restricted substances from owning firearms, even if the substances they use are legal in the state that they reside in. 

A Nevada medical marijuana patient challenged the law after she was denied the right to buy a firearm because of her medical marijuana card. Last September the Supreme Court ruled that it is not a violation of the Second Amendment for states to deny gun ownership to people who use medical marijuana. 

“It is beyond dispute that illegal drug users, including marijuana users, are likely as a consequence of that use to experience altered or impaired mental states that affect their judgment and that can lead to irrational or unpredictable behavior,” justices wrote in the ruling. 

Last week the Honolulu Police Department sent letters to medical marijuana users saying that they will need to turn in their weapons within 30 days of receipt. 

“Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition,” the letter said, according to a copy obtained by Leafly. The letter went on to say that the medical marijuana patients would need a doctor’s clearance to get their firearms back. 

In Pennsylvania, authorities made a similar proclamation. 

“So in fact an individual who is issued a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania who is a user of medical marijuana, that individual would be prohibited from purchasing or technically possession of a firearm under federal law,” Major Scott C. Price, Pennsylvania state police director of the Bureau of Records and Identification, said Tuesday, according to Lehigh Valley Live

Federal authorities agreed. 

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes,” said Special Agent Joshua E. Jackson, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C.

Medical marijuana licenses come up on background checks, but 22% of gun sales take place between unlicensed sellers who are not required to conduct background checks, according to Leafly

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Nevada gambling leaders grapple with future of cannabis in casinos

LAS VEGAS — A committee exploring the effects of recreational marijuana on Nevada’s gambling industry is wrestling with how the state’s casinos might deal with the pot business while not running afoul of federal law.

Lured by a potential economic impact in the tens of millions of dollars, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Gaming Policy Committee is trying to figure out how casinos can host conventions and trade shows on marijuana.

The 12-member committee ended its meeting Wednesday without a formal decision on the matter, but Sandoval said he hopes to have committee recommendations for possible regulations by February.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has discouraged licensees in the past from becoming involved with the marijuana business, fearing legal backlash. Committee members have also voiced opposition to the idea of allowing marijuana use at resorts.

However, events like MJBizCon, a conference on various aspects of the marijuana growing industry, have drawn the attention of the gambling industry because of their strong turnout.

Cassandra Farrington, who started the conference, told the committee that the event brought about 18,000 people to the Las Vegas Convention Center last month and it’s only expected to grow. She noted that marijuana products are not allowed on the show floor, and people who violate that ruled are expelled.

Trade shows like Farrington’s conference can generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, said Deonne Contine, the director of the Nevada Department of Taxation. Contine told the committee that a show with about 15,000 people can produce a $28.2 million economic impact on the city.

Attorney Brian Barnes said any marijuana business in gambling facilities could be considered racketeering or money laundering under federal regulations.

“Marijuana business is illegal under virtually every aspect of federal law,” Barnes said.

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Las Vegas morning update for Monday, December 4th

Monday’s headlines: trash, lawlessness targeted at shooting range, California pot legalization not the biggest threat for Nevada, officials quiet on Amazon HQ2 proposal. Elaine Wilson/Las Vegas Review-Journal


Bob Arum Credits Weed as The Secret To His Long Life

Top Rank’s CEO and founder, Bob Arum, will turn 86 years old on December 8.

He’s been involved in the sport of boxing for 50 years and continues plugging away with no end.

His company is less than a week away from one of their biggest and most anticipated shows on the year, when world champions and Olympic gold medalists Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux collide on Saturday night from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

What keeps the Hall of Fame promoter going?

According to Arum, marijuana has been his secret to longevity for many years.

“The question is, if they gave me a VADA test, would I pass it?” Arum told CBS Sports on Wednesday during an appearance on the “In This Corner” podcast that will air next week. “I don’t take performance-enhancing drugs, I mean, but I come from Nevada. So it’s legal now and I have a puff every now and then. I plead guilty to that. Other than that, I keep my body in pretty good shape.”

Arum has always been an advocate for marijuana and appeared in the 1975 film “The Marijuana Affair.”

These days, Arum is a very happy man. Because earlier this year, Nevada legalized recreational marijuana – which created a Las Vegas boom with dispensaries popping up all over the city.

“I started [using marijuana] in 1966,” Arum said. “Kids, young kids shouldn’t do it because your brain is being formulated. But in 1966, I was in my 30s and I started. I don’t do it at work, I do it for recreation. It’s good for you, it’s good for you. Cannabis is good for you!

“It’s these damn people during the Nixon administration that really put cannabis into the position where it was a drug like heroin and cocaine and that was wrong. Now I think people in states like Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and soon California, people will be able to go into places and buy it legally like I do in Nevada.”

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