US Court Denies Second Amendment Rights For Medical Marijuana Cardholders

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a ban on gun sales to patients holding a medical marijuana card is legal, ABC News reports Wednesday.

S. Rowan Wilson, of Nevada, who is a medical marijuana cardholder, had attempted to buy a gun in 2011 but was denied the sale due to a federal law banning gun sales to illegal drug users. While medical marijuana is legal in Nevada, it is still illegal under federal law.

Wilson’s attorney, Chaz Rainey, told ABC News, “we live in a world where having a medical marijuana card is enough to say you don’t get a gun, but if you’re on the no fly list your constitutional right is still protected.”

Wilson also argued that her right to bear arms was taken away without due process, but the 9th Circuit Court disagreed in their unanimous 3-0 decision, which applies to all nine states under their jurisdiction.

Michael S. Chernis, of Chernis Law Group, tells The Daily Caller News Foundation that the “ruling is correct.” He says the federal law is very clear that illegal drug users cannot be sold firearms, but he also thinks this decision is evidence of “real problems” within our system.

The federal government is acting “cowardly, and refusing to do the right thing,” Chernis says, by not having an honest discussion about marijuana being lumped in with other Schedule I drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

To that end, he says if the DEA chose to reschedule marijuana from its current Schedule I to, say, Schedule II, or even III, this would not be an issue.

“Second Amendment rights are being compromised,” Chernis continued, “and people are being forced to choose between their right to own a firearm, or to pursue medicine of their choice.”

“There is no credible justification for a ‘marijuana exception’ to the US Constitution,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) told TheDCNF. “Responsible adults who use cannabis in a manner that is compliant with the laws of their states ought to receive the same legal rights and protections as do other citizens.”

“It is incumbent that members of Congress act swiftly to amend cannabis’ criminal status in a way that comports with both public and scientific opinion, as well as its rapidly changing legal status under state laws,” Armentano concluded.

Rainey says there will be an appeal, but Chernis doesn’t see this as making its way to the Supreme Court because the court usually only picks up cases where there are conflicting decisions, which did not occur here.

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