Medical Marijuana and Firearms
01/04/2018 by Manager
Information for Medical Marijuana Cardholders:
It is legal under Pennsylvania law for the holder of a validly issued patient Medical Marijuana Card to possess approved forms of medical marijuana. However, as per the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) state legalization of medical marijuana is not recognized by the federal government;, and possession of a valid Medical Marijuana Card and/or the use of medical marijuana defines you an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance”; and, therefore, prohibited by Federal law from the purchase or acquisition, possession or control of a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.32(a)(3).
The BATFE’s statement is set forth in its September 21, 2011, Open Letter to all Federal Firearms Licensees, which states in part that “[t]herefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.” Click here for a copy of the Open Letter. Likewise, the mere possession of a Medical Marijuana Card will give rise to an inference that you are an “unlawful user of or addicted to” a controlled substance, pursuant to 27 C.F.R. § 478.11.
If you are holder of a Medical Marijuana Card, it is important that you know:
• It is unlawful for you to attempt to purchase a firearm under Federal law and you will be denied during your Pennsylvania State Police background check, due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is unlawful under federal law for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and we recommend that you consult an attorney if you have any questions about your firearms. Again, this is due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is also unlawful for you to apply for, possess or renew a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearm (LTC), because you are “[a]n individual who is prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm under the statutes of the United States.” (see above). The sheriff should not process your application if you truthfully indicate to the sheriff that you are the holder of a Medical Marijuana Card. Additionally, you will be denied during the Pennsylvania State Police background check, which occurs as part of the LTC application or renewal process.