Can Medical Marijuana Patients Legally Own Guns?

Christopher Morales, a California criminal defense attorney, provided some legal insight into this complex matter. “The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits anyone from possessing guns if they use or are addicted to cannabis,” Morales explained. 

The exact wording of the federal law prohibits any “unlawful user” or addict of cannabis (or any other federally restricted substance) from purchasing guns, even if that individual resides in a state with legal medical or adult-use cannabis laws.

A Nevada medical marijuana patient named S. Rowan Wilson challenged the ruling after she attempted to purchase a firearm for self-defense in 2011. When the gun store refused to sell to her, she filed a lawsuit challenging the federal statute against gun ownership by a lawful marijuana patient.

The case went all the way to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where, on August 31, 2016, Chief District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that a federal government ban of gun sales to abiding state-legal medical marijuana patients does not violate the Second Amendment.

From Lisa Rough at Leafly.com