Cannabis – 2A Rights Stripped
Cannabis – 2A Rights Stripped – DOJ once again confirmed that cannabis uses have NO RIGHTS under the Second Amendment while those that use opioid narcotics are FULLY PROTECTED.
Cannabis users do not have the right guaranteed to citizens under the Second Amendment to own or purchase a gun because cannabis remains illegal under federal law, Department of Justice lawyers argued in court papers filed last week, asking a federal court to dismiss a gun rights lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in November by a medical cannabis user and doctor, Matthew Roman, and the Justice Department’s response reflects its longstanding position when it comes to the state-federal conflict over cannabis use and gun rights.
Andrew Sacks, Roman’s attorney, hadn’t yet read the DOJ’s response but told Cannabis Wire in an email that he expects for an Eastern District of Pennsylvania judge to schedule arguments in the case soon. With appeals likely, the case could take more than a year to resolve, he said.
The gun rights and cannabis conflict have gotten more notice in recent years as veterans and others who value gun ownership have expressed a desire to use medical cannabis but do not want to give up their gun rights. The availability of medical cannabis is beginning to expand to places where gun ownership rates are higher, such as Oklahoma and Missouri, with additional pushes for medical access in full swing in South Carolina and Texas. And overall, the last decade has seen an increase in guns manufactured and sold across the country.
Still, the Justice Department argued that Second Amendment rights only apply to “‘law-abiding, responsible citizens,’” quoting the Supreme Court language in the seminal gun rights case District of Columbia vs. Heller, in which the Court decided that “felons and the mentally ill” could be barred access to guns.
When it comes to cannabis and guns, “Federal law contains a similar prohibition for unlawful users of controlled substances,” the Justice Department wrote. “Plaintiff readily acknowledges that he falls within this category—that is, that he is an unlawful, regular ‘consumer’ of marijuana (also known as cannabis), an illegal, mind-altering drug, which under federal law cannot be legally prescribed for medical use (and the possession of which is a criminal offense). Plaintiff argues that the resulting restriction on his right to possess firearms violates his Second Amendment and other constitutional rights. Because the Second Amendment does not protect those who choose to illegally take mind-altering drugs, and who commit to continuing to do so, Plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights have not been violated.”
Roman attorney John Weston previously told Cannabis Wire that he believes past federal court decisions over the cannabis and gun rights impasse shouldn’t apply and that the case is a strong one because it makes an argument based on medical cannabis use. “You’re perfectly legal treating yourself with Ambien or Percocet, and even though those are far more dangerous drugs, they don’t deprive you of any constitutional rights,” Weston said.