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Legal Weed Is Getting In The Way Of Gun Rights

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Legal marijuana poses problems for potential gun owners in Alaska.

While it is legal to smoke marijuana for medical or recreational purposes in the state, it is illegal to purchase a firearm in Alaska if the potential buyer uses the substance.

Federal background checks require people seeking to purchase a firearm to divulge if they use marijuana for recreational or medical purposes. If the individual answers no, and they pass the other requirements of the background check, they are approved for purchase. If the person answers yes, they are acting illegally under federal law and are unable to buy a gun.

The Alaskan Department of Public Safety explicitly says that a person purchasing a firearm cannot be a: “user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” While marijuana is not a controlled substance in Alaska, it is in the eyes of the federal government. Even if someone is using it under the direction of a practicing medical physician, the use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

The gun issue adds another layer onto the federal-state problem of medical and recreational marijuana.

The problem expands beyond Alaska: 28 states and the nation’s capital allow for medicinal or recreational, or both, use of marijuana.

Do those that use marijuana for medicinal purposes deserve to automatically surrender their Second Amendment rights?

Gun advocates have cried politics as the crux of the problem, and blamed the Obama administration for using medical marijuana laws to ban people from acquiring guns, the Journal reports.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Wilson v. Lynch that banning medical marijuana users from obtaining firearms does not violate their Second Amendment rights.

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