Politics

Cannabis Card Carriers No Longer Forced To Give Up Guns In Hawaii

Honolulu is no longer requiring medical marijuana card holders to surrender their firearms because of their medicinal status.

The Honolulu Police Department issued a notice Tuesday saying it will back off the unprecedented policy, but will continue to deny new permits to current cannabis users, according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Police Chief Susan Ballard said law enforcement wants to take their time in developing a policy that best serves the people of the community and will be returning firearms to two residents who voluntarily surrendered them, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that’s legally sound and serves our community,” Ballard said in a press release .”Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right.”

Last month Ballard wrote a letter telling residents they had 30 days to turn over all guns and ammunition to authorities if they used medical marijuana. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug on par with heroin and ecstasy, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) said it will make no firearm exceptions for cannabis users.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in September 2016 against laws prohibiting marijuana patients from owning a gun. The court ruled in favor of the state and said the measure doesn’t violate the 2nd amendment.

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