There’s a battle brewing in the state of Arkansas over the right to bear arms while having a medical marijuana card. The duel between state law versus the federal law of the land is not new, Illinois has also issued warnings in the past. The issue at hand is that cannabis remains federally illegal and people who want to buy guns are being told by the Arkansas Department of Health that they can either have the card, or the ability to buy a gun.
This warning isn’t sitting well with some gun enthusiasts.
Robert Reed, a Navy Veteran who served his country for 16 year, suffers PTSD along medical conditions which medical marijuana would help. He tells NWA news, “I will not apply for a med license, and risk my livelihood and my safety.”
The Arkansas Department of Health, Robert Brech, answered reporter’s questions about the Second Amendment right for would-be medical patients. “You won’t be denied the medical marijuana card,” he said.
“There’s actually a provision in the Constitutional amendment that you can’t be denied a license. So they may continue to give a conceal carry license to someone. It’s really a problem at the federal level, not the state level,” he said.
The kerfuffle is over a specific question asked of gun purchasers.
“Are you an unlawful user of, addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? 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.”
Question 11 C (above) of form 4473 of the background check process asks if the would-be firearm purchaser is “an unlawful user of … marijuana.” No one who answers “yes” to that question can purchase a gun and the basis for that question is federal law, rather than laws in the state.
It’s a risk patients can take but in addition to the form, the Associated Press reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug which also effectively bars the MMJ card holder from buying a gun.