The federal government's refusal to implement marijuana-friendly laws has taken it's toll over the years, but now users are worried about their second amendment rights. Darren White, a former head of the Department of Public Safety and 8-year sheriff, has brought to light the issue of state-legal marijuana users being denied the right to legally own firearms. As it stands, the federal government prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances to purchase or possess a firearm. White is a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico, where the use of medical marijuana is legal, and he is also an investor and chief administrator/chief of security for a new medical grower in Albuquerque. As former law enforcement and a current marijuana consumer, White does not want anyone to be persecuted or denied their second amendment rights for simply using a drug that is now legal in 25 states. During a standard background check for a firearm, medical marijuana users are required to say 'yes' when asked “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” which will immediately disqualify anyone. Some have recommended lying on the application, but a false statement on a background check is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A false statement on a background check form is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In Colorado, county sheriffs issue concealed carry permits, and some sheriffs specifically ask applicants whether they are marijuana users. Supporters of a proposal that would have prohibited sheriffs from denying permits because of marijuana use were unsuccessful in forcing a statewide vote this year on the proposal.
“It’s very similar to most of the ways the federal government approaches marijuana,” he says. “They have not caught up to the states. They do not recognize medical cannabis at all. States tend to lead the way on issues like this. They already have.”