• Suzanna Thallman

Medical Marijuana Patients and Firearms


Marijuana and Firearms

Many prospective and current medical marijuana patients have asked our team at

Ohio Marijuana Card about whether being a medical marijuana patient prevents

them from owning or buying a firearm. The short answer is yes, but in this article

we will break down why that is, and whether there's a system of enforcement in

place to check if gun buyers are medical marijuana patients.


Because the ATF is an arm of the federal government, they cannot allow a medical

marijuana patient to purchase a gun. Since marijuana is considered "habit forming"

as a Schedule I drug, the ATF cannot allow patients who are "addicted to

marijuana" to own a gun.


Naturally, while nearly all medical marijuana patients know that cannabis is not

generally habit forming, nor does it impair the body and mind in the same

damaging ways as alcohol (a totally legal substance), there's little that can be

done to combat this rule.


So will the government actually enforce this ban, or is marijuana going to

continually operate in the grayest of legal areas? That's a tough question to

answer, but not unlike the smoking ban that Ohio has implemented on medical marijuana, there seems to be very little provisions in place to actually enforce the

ban.


Ohio Board of Pharmacy spokesman Cameron McNamee told Dayton Daily News

that, "The patient registry itself is protected information and only those doctors

who are certified will be able to access the patient registry."


This means that while the ATF can perform a background check on potential gun

buyers, it is impossible for them to be able to access the medical marijuana patient

registry. This effectively means that the ATF will need to rely on the honesty of

gun buyers filling out their background check forms.


This could change at some point in the future as Ohio's marijuana law is fairly new.

At any point a better system of enforcement might arise. But it seems -- at least

for now -- that medical marijuana patients will have no formal way of being flagged

by the ATF as a marijuana user. As such, if a gun buyer does not choose to

disclose that they are a medical marijuana patient on their form, the ATF will not

know. That said, lying on an ATF background check form is a felony, so we do not

recommend doing that.

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