Medical Marijuana and Gun Ownership

Aiken O’Halloran & Foley
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
Offices:
Sarasota 941-366-3506
Ft Myers 239-334-8890
Cape Coral 239-984-4994
Punta Gorda 941-639-6009

How does having a prescription for medical marijuana affect your right to own or buy a gun?
So far, if you own a gun, it does not. If you go to buy a gun however, that is another story.

The Federal Firearms transfer form ATF 4473 has a specific question and warning. It specifically asks “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? It then goes on to state: “ Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the State where you reside
If you have a prescription for medical marijuana, and you answer this question with a “no”, you are at risk of being charged with a Federal Felony and facing up to ten years in prison. No one knows whether the Feds are going to seriously go after users of medical marijuana if they in effect lie on the form required to buy a firearm. How about if you have a misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana? Does that make you a “user” of marijuana? There is a difference between possession of marijuana and using or smoking it so you are probably OK if all it is a conviction for possession of pot.

The new Attorney General seems to be in the minority with his views on marijuana and who knows what the Feds are going to do. One the one hand, the current administration seems to favor gun rights but on the other hand takes an unrealistic view when it comes to weed. Time will tell when it comes to how the ATF enforces the law. It would be so easy for the ATF to simply get a list of everyone who has a script for medical marijuana and then just put them on a “no buy” list when it comes to firearms. If you have a prescription for medical marijuana in my opinion, you would be in technical violation of the law if you do not disclose it when you go to buy a gun. If you do disclose it, your purchase will be turned down. If you have someone else buy it for you, that deception is even worse because the form specifically asks “Are you the actual buyer of the firearm” and if someone lies about that, they will be prosecuted. It would be interesting to see how the Feds are treating this in the States with legalized use. Once again time will tell.

As a gun lawyer, over the years I have handled all types of firearms violation. I have yet to have a case since the changes when it comes to medical marijuana. For the average citizen, he or she may have to make a choice between using marijuana for legitimate medical purposes and being able to buy a gun. Think about that when you are deciding whether or not to get a prescription.
He will be your strong advocate — defending your rights always and seeking the best possible outcome.

Free Consultation With a Criminal Defense Lawyer — Call Today

For a free consultation with Peter Aiken, contact our firm. We have offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral,Punta Gorda and Sarasota to serve you.

Sarasota 941-366-3506

Fort Myers 239-334-8890

​Punta Gorda 941-639-6009

Cape Coral 239-984-4994