Republican Home lawmakers have filed the primary piece of marijuana reform laws for the 118th Congress, proposing to permit medical hashish sufferers to buy and possess firearms.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) launched the invoice, which seems to be the identical as a measure initially filed in 2019 that didn’t advance. It’s being cosponsored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who’s a co-chair of the Congressional Hashish Caucus, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) .
Whereas the complete textual content isn’t but accessible, the invoice shares the brief title of the “Second Modification Safety Act” that Mooney filed within the 116th Congress. It’s unclear if it’s been amended from that model.
However because the title explains, the measure seeks to amend federal statute because it issues the “sale, buy, cargo, receipt, or possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person of medical marijuana.”
Because it stands, individuals who use hashish—whilst a affected person in compliance with state regulation—are barred from buying or possessing weapons as a result of they’re thought of “an illegal person of or hooked on” a federally managed substance.
The sooner model of the invoice stated that individuals who use unlawful managed substances nonetheless wouldn’t have the ability to get hold of a firearm—“besides that a person shall not be handled as an illegal person of or hooked on any managed substance primarily based on the person utilizing marihuana for a medical objective in accordance with state regulation.”
To implement the present prohibition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) contains the next query on a kind that have to be stuffed out previous to most gun purchases:
“Are you an illegal person of, or hooked on, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or another managed substance? Warning: the use or possession of marijuana stays illegal beneath Federal regulation no matter whether or not it has been legalized or decriminalized for medical or leisure functions within the state the place you reside.”
Massie spoke to Marijuana Second in regards to the want for gun-focused hashish reform in 2019, previewing plans to again laws to finish the present coverage for sufferers.
The prohibition has been extensively criticized on a bipartisan foundation, with advocates, lawmakers and state officers arguing that the ban unduly discriminates towards marijuana sufferers and forces them to both forfeit a constitutional proper or get hold of firearms by different, probably unlawful channels.
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One other invoice that was filed final Congress by the late Rep. Don Younger (R-AK), who Mast changed as a GOP co-chair of the Hashish Caucus, would have protected the Second Modification proper of any lawful marijuana shopper and never simply sufferers.
The Gun Rights and Marijuana (GRAM) Act would have added a brief provision to federal regulation specifying that “the time period ‘illegal person of or hooked on any managed substance’ shall not embrace an individual by cause of illegal use or dependancy to marijuana.”
The exemption would have utilized solely to individuals who reside in a state or tribal jurisdiction that allows the usage of marijuana by adults, and provided that they don’t violate the native hashish legal guidelines legal guidelines.
There was dialogue of together with the reform as a part of a package deal of incremental marijuana reforms know as “SAFE Plus” that bipartisan and bicameral lawmakers had hoped to advance through the lame duck session final yr. However that didn’t materialize.
Florida’s then-agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried led an effort to sue the federal authorities in hopes to securing firearms rights for medical hashish sufferers, however a district courtroom choose dismissed it in November after months of back-and-forth. Fried has since appealed the choice.
As Fried beforehand informed Marijuana Second, the lawsuit wasn’t about increasing gun rights, per se. It was a matter of constitutionality that she and different key allies within the gun reform motion really feel would bolster public security if the case finally goes of their favor.
In 2020, ATF issued an advisory particularly focusing on Michigan that requires gun sellers to conduct federal background checks on all unlicensed gun consumers as a result of it stated the state’s hashish legal guidelines had enabled “recurring marijuana customers” and different disqualified people to acquire firearms illegally.
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