On Tuesday, Mississippians will have a chance to vote between two medical marijuana measures, and one question that has arisen from the Initiative 65 vs. Alternative 65A debate is “how will a medical marijuana program affect gun ownership?”
According to Jamie Grantham of Medical Marijuana 2020, the group that started the grassroots campaign behind Initiative 65, any medical marijuana program—whether created by Initiative 65 or Alternative 65A—would prohibit qualified patients from purchasing a firearm, per federal law.
“To understand other medical marijuana programs across the country, you have to understand that, at the federal level, there are restrictions there,” Grantham said in a recent radio interview.
Through both the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, individuals, who are certified by licensed physicians to use medical marijuana, are prohibited from buying a firearm.
“That federal form is in play, and it specifically will ask you questions about any illegal drug use,” Grantham said, referring to Form 4473. “It specifically will ask you questions about any illegal drug use, and they specifically include medical marijuana in that…That would keep you, again at the federal level, from purchasing a new gun.”
Regarding the possession of a firearm by a medical marijuana patient, scheduling set forth by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency would ultimately force one to give up their second amendment rights if they were to become a medical marijuana user, however, Grantham suggested that the federal government is not actually going to enforce its regulations.
“Federal law always trumps state law, but in the case of medical marijuana, the government is not using resources to go in and enforce any of those laws or restrictions as far as medical marijuana patients,” she said. “They are not going in and taking firearms from people, so literally, the only thing that we’re talking about here that might preclude you from purchasing a brand new firearm is that federal form where it specifically asks you, but there is nothing at the state level, at all, that takes away your second amendment rights.”
To find out more about the ins and outs of both medical marijuana measures, click here.