Saturday, June 19, 2010

OR: Smokin' Weed and Packin' Heat

The Oregon State Court of Appeals ruled this week that medical marijuana users cannot be denied concealed handgun licenses, contrary to the opinions of at least two county sheriffs.
The [federal gun control] act states that "an unlawful user ...of any controlled substance" can't own a gun, and the sheriffs contended the federal act trumps Oregon's medical marijuana law.

While federal law prohibits marijuana, Oregon's 12-year-old law legalizes pot possession for residents with a laundry list of qualifying ailments and a doctor's approval.

Leland Berger, who represented four medical marijuana users who were denied concealed handgun licenses, was relieved by the Court of Appeals decision.

He sees the sheriffs' denial of licenses as "discrimination" against patients who use cannabis as medicine for debilitating health problems -- including cancer, glaucoma, seizures, nausea and severe pain.
Broken down, it appears that the Oregon court simply ruled that, under state law, there is nothing to preclude issuing a concealed handgun permit to the medical dope smoker. However, under federal law, smoking dope and possessing a gun while smoking dope remain illegal.

In any event, there continues to be a disparity between state and federal law with regard to the medical marijuana issue.

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