Democratic Politician Says Pot Smokers Should Own Guns
Should pot smokers be operating firearms? They should according to Jared Polis. The Democratic politician from Colorado introduced a bill in Congress last week that would allow medical marijuana users the right to bear arms. The bill challenges a 2011 letter to licensed gun sellers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which stated it’s illegal for anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” to own a gun or ammunition.
Although medical marijuana is currently legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, the Bureau made it clear that pot owners using firearms is prohibited “regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medical reasons.” However, the only way for a gun seller to know if a potential customer uses marijuana is for the buyer to answer “yes” to a question on the ATF’s Firearms Transaction Report, which directly asks if they use or are addicted to pot.
In recent years, Drug Enforcement Administration raids of marijuana growing sites have ultimately led to much longer sentences for those convicted if weapons are found. Last year, Montana dispensary operator Chris Williams faced 85 years in prison for having legal shotguns as part of his grow operation; however, he was only sentenced to five years in jail.
Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, which puts it in the same category as crack cocaine and heroin. If it were brought down to a schedule II drug, it could be medically prescribed by a doctor.