U.S. Court Makes Major Decision Involving Gun Sales, Medical Marijuana Users

If you legally use medical marijuana, you still won't be able to buy a gun from a firearms dealer in most of the Western U.S.

That's what the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided just now in answer to whether such a ban violates the 2nd Amendment, according to ABC News.


The case goes back to 2011 when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced it was lumping legal medical marijuana users in with illicit drug users when it comes to banning gun purchases, according to NBC News. It's an example of federal law clashing with state law.

"There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by state law," ATF assistant director Arthur Herbert made clear.

As for how a gun dealer can determine if a potential buyer is a medical marijuana user, ATF spokesman Drew Wade said they can do so if the buyer presents a medical marijuana or talks about using it. Dealers are not required to ask, though, making it seem like a "Don't ask, don't tell" type of rule.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has appellate jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The ruling applies in those nine states.

What do you think about this hot-button issue?

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