Medical Marijuana Patients May Lose Gun Rights in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients are being expected to surrender their rights as if they’re no longer responsible members of society. Marijuana remains a schedule I illegal substance, therefore medical marijuana patients in the state of Pennsylvania are still violating the federal law. Consequently, gun rights are one of many civil rights one may lose by registering for medicinal marijuana patient. A police spokesman warned patients of the consequences they will see for still possessing firearms after enrolling in the state’s medical marijuana program.

During your background check, firearm dealers will be alerted that you are part of the program. If you are part of the program, the dealer will be forced to turn you away. Even if firearm dealers suspect someone of using marijuana, they are expected to deny them sales as well.

Prior to a background check, customers are required to fill out a form that asks about marijuana usage from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. If you are “guilty” of consuming marijuana, the dealer is not permitted to sell you a gun.

Ryan Tarkowski, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Police, said the state’s authorities are “not in the business of offering legal advice, but it might be a good idea to contact an attorney about how best to dispose of their firearms.”

“If you’re a cardholder, you’ll be flagged,” he added.

Andrew Sacks, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee believes that the firearm rule is hypocritical.

Sacks said, “You can be an opioid addict, or buy a bottle of rum, drink it and go to a store and buy one. But a person who is registered as a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, and has a very small dosage of THC, can’t own a gun to protect themselves or hunt.”

The comments give the impression that Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients who decide to hang onto their firearms are putting themselves in danger of the law. But, alcoholics, opiate addicts as well as psychiatric patients all have their second amendment rights protected, ironic.


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