Medicinal Marijuana Cardholders Federal Law Prohibits Firearm Ownership

Medicinal Marijuana Cardholders Federal Law Prohibits Firearm Ownership. That is if you live in the any of the following states: Arizona, Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Guam and Hawaii. The 9th Circuit recently upheld the District Court of Nevada’s dismissal with prejudice a Nevada Medical Marijuana cardholder’s lawsuit against the ATF The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of a provisions of federal law that prohibit the users of controlled substances from procuring firearms. Despite the fact a majority of States now allow for recreational or medicinal use of marijuana, its use remains illegal under the Federal Controlled Substance Act.

In September of 2011, the ATF issued an open letter to all Firearm licensees that the gun control act prohibited the sale of firearms to any individual that the licensee knew was in possession of a medical marijuana card. Because the knowledge of the ownership of the card creates reasonable cause to believe that individual uses marijuana a controlled substance.

The Plaintiff challenged the law on the basis that it violated her rights under the 1st, 2nd and 5th amendment (due process and equal protection). The lower Court dismissed the 2nd amendment claim based on the 9th Circuit holding in United States v. Dugan, 657 F.3d 998 .  In that case the 9th Circuit held the right to bear arms is not unlimited, and that habitual drug users, like career criminals and mentally ill, more likely will have difficulty exercising self-control, particularly while under the influence of a controlled substance.

The Court rejected her first amendment arguments because she failed to allege facts that (1) possession of the card did not convey a particular message in support of the legalization of marijuana and (2) that her possession of the card would not be viewed as others as a support for the legalization of marijuana.

Whether the Plaintiff will seek review of her case from the United States Supreme Court is to be determined. Regardless it is not likely that the Supreme Court will overturn this decision. The reality is as long as federal law prohibits marijuana’s use and possession, this holding will stand