Marijuana users not fit for guns?

Jonathan Olsen-Koziol, Staff Reporter

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 31 that cannabis users cannot possess or own firearms because it makes them subject to “irrational and unpredictable behavior.”

Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug and is therefore deemed to have no medicinal use. This allows the court to label cannabis users as drug addicts.

Drug addicts cannot buy guns under federal law.

The United States V. Carter case established the link between drug use and violence in 2014. The case states that people, prisoners or those on probation who committed violent felonies were more likely to have used drugs or been addicted to drugs beforehand.

The court argued that correlation vs. causation doesn’t matter; a simple link between drug use and violence is enough to prohibit marijuana users from owning a gun.  

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, a commonly prescribed anti-depressant, are 10 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs, Time magazine reports.

People suffering from depression can buy guns.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse states that 86 percent of murderers were drinking at the time of the crime.

People who drink alcohol are still allowed to buy guns.

“I think the big misconception is alcohol isn’t a drug, when it completely is,” said Ryan Bean, owner of The Firehouse smoke shop.

Bean said he believes alcohol is one of the most addictive and harmful substances there is. Over 88,000 people died of alcohol-related incidents last year. Zero people died from marijuana-related overdoses last year, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“You’re buying it for the sole purpose of what the effect is. It is, by definition, a drug,” said Tucker Reiley, a personal trainer and food science and nutrition major.

Reiley said he believes we need to change our idea of what drugs are.

“Everyone is on drugs, whether they like to admit it or not,” they are just chemicals humans take to have a desired effect, Reiley said.  

Caffeine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin are culturally accepted for daily use. Prescribed drugs like opiates and antidepressants are used in situations when the benefits outweigh the risks.

Bean said he thinks the substance in question is a moot point.

“Ultimately you’re responsible for that decision regardless of what substances you’re on,” he said.

The discrepancy between punishing cannabis users and alcohol users is questionable. Drug policy researchers show marijuana can reduce violent tendencies in some people while alcohol is linked to every violent crime on the spectrum.

Mike Graham owns Natural Mystic Farms, located just outside of Ellensburg. He said this is nothing more than federal agencies using their power to discriminate against cannabis users.

“People that work for the government are public servants. They need to serve the people, not use their positions for personal preferences. It’s ridiculous,” Graham said.

Since Colorado and Washington started selling recreational weed in 2014, painkiller use has dropped substantially. The New York Times reports annual overdoses due to prescription opioids are down by 25 percent in states with medical or recreational cannabis laws.

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2 Responses to “Marijuana users not fit for guns?”

  1. EmperorPenguin on November 12th, 2016 5:20 pm

    The government will tell whatever lies it needs to. Most Federal judges are in the age group where they were saturated with lits about marijuana. There is no good reason to abridge the second amendment rights of people who have marijuana. This law is a violation of our Constitution if you care at all about your rights you will tell your legislators and these judges that this is unacceptable.

  2. Chris on November 13th, 2016 7:25 pm

    Unless you are ruled Mentally unstable by a medical Professional and are restricted from buying or owning a Gun, the Courts have no right to interpret any Drug or Substance that is Legal as causing any kind of effect upon a Citizen that restricts them from their 2nd Amendment rights. Even Mind Altering Substances that are Legally Administered or Prescribed to patients do not give the Courts the Right to claim that they are or Might be mentally deficient to own a firearm. There are many Drugs and Medications that people take which can put them in a state that allows them not to be able to operate something such as a gun, but as with all drugs this is temporary, just like being Drunk or on a mind altering substance such as Percocet (Acetaminophen / Oxycodone), if prescribed by a medial professional, the effects of the drug might take away ones cognitive ability to operate a Car or Firearms but a person is not always in that state of mind and eventually returns to a state of no manipulation by the substance. The other problem is, How do you take away a Constitutional right becuase you have a License for something else. What if I can have medical Marijuana Card from a medical professional but never used it or decide to no longer purchase Marijuana while still keeping my card. The court is in effect stating that just having the CARD puts the card holder in a state where they are “irrational and unpredictable” – I am sorry but I do not need a Marijuana card or even a controlled substance to be irrational and or unpredictable, every human being is those at one time or another. I am unpredictable every day from the high i get of just living a great life. The Court is FLAT OUT WRONG.

    This Ruling if upheld should also restrict any Medical Marijuana Holder from possessing a legal Drivers License as well. Where Driving a Car is a Privilege, if the courts believe that they can restrict a constitutional Right to own, posses, and Fire a Firearm, then clearly the same person should not be allowed to own, Possess or Drive a Vehicle. Hence every Marijuana Card holder should have their License revoked Immediately and their Cars confiscated.

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Marijuana users not fit for guns?