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  • Medical marijuana users fight for gun rights

    (AP)

    WHITE CITY, Ore. - Cynthia Willis calls up and down the firing range to be sure everyone knows she is shooting, squares up in a two-handed stance with her Walther P-22 automatic pistol and fires off a clip in rapid succession.

    Willis is not only packing a concealed handgun permit in her wallet, she also has a medical marijuana card. That combination has led the local sheriff to try to take her gun permit away.

    She is part of what is considered the first major court case in the country to consider whether guns and marijuana can legally mix. The sheriffs of Washington and Jackson counties say no. But Willis and three co-plaintiffs have won in state court twice, with the state's rights to regulate concealed weapons trumping federal gun control law in each decision.

    With briefs filed and arguments made, they are now waiting for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule.

    Special Report: Marijuana Nation

    When it's over, the diminutive 54-year-old plans to still be eating marijuana cookies to deal with her arthritis pain and muscle spasms, and carrying her pistol.

    "Under the medical marijuana law, I am supposed to be treated as any other citizen in this state," she said. "If people don't stand up for their little rights, all their big rights will be gone."

    A retired school bus driver, Willis volunteers at a Medford smoke shop that helps medical marijuana patients find growers, and teaches how to get the most medical benefit out of the pound-and-a-half of pot that card carriers are allowed to possess. She believes that her marijuana oils, cookies and joints should be treated no differently than any other prescribed medicines. She said she doesn't use them when she plans to drive, or carry her gun.

    "That's as stupid as mixing alcohol and weapons,"' she said.

    Oregon sheriffs are not happy about the state's medical marijuana law.

    "The whole medical marijuana issue is a concern to sheriffs across the country who are involved in it mainly because there is so much potential for abuse or for misuse and as a cover for organized criminal activity," said Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon, who became part of the Willis case because his office turned down three medical marijuana patients in the Portland suburbs for concealed handgun permits. "You can't argue that people aren't misusing that statute in Oregon.

    "Not everybody, of course. Some have real medical reasons. But ...the larger group happens be people who are very clearly abusing it."

    The sheriffs argue that the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act prohibits selling firearms to drug addicts, and they say that includes medical marijuana card holders. Their briefs state that they cannot give a permit to carry a gun to someone prohibited from buying or owning a gun.

    But the cardholders have won so far arguing this is one situation where federal law does not trump state law, because the concealed handgun license just gives a person a legal defense if they are arrested, not a right.

    Oregon's attorney general has sided with the marijuana cardholders, arguing that the concealed handgun license cannot be used to buy a gun, so sheriffs who issue one to a marijuana card holder are not in violation of the federal law.

    Willis' lawyer, Leland Berger, says it is much simpler.

    The sheriffs "are opposed to the medical marijuana act," Berger said from Portland. "It's not based on reason. That's how they are."

    Rural southern Oregon is awash with marijuana — legal and illegal. Arrests for illegal plantations are commonplace. The region's six counties also have the highest rate of medical marijuana use in the state. There are also a lot of guns in the Rogue Valley, where Willis lives.

    Sixteen states now have medical marijuana laws, according to NORML, an advocacy group. There is no way to determine how many medical marijuana cardholders also have gun permits. Patient lists are confidential, and an Oregon court ruled the sheriffs can't look at them.

    NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre said Oregon courts have not been entirely medical marijuana friendly. While they have upheld the right to pack a pistol, they have also ruled that employers can fire people who use medical marijuana.

    "A person who uses medical cannabis should not have to give up their fundamental rights as enumerated by the Constitution,"' St. Pierre said.

    Gordon said he expects the gun issue to come up in other states with medical marijuana laws.

    Oregon was the first state in the country to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with legislation enacted in 1973. And it was right behind California in making medical marijuana legal when voters approved a ballot measure in 1998. But voters here stopped short of following California all the way to selling medical marijuana to cardholders at dispensaries. A ballot measure failed last year, so patients still have to grow their own or get someone else to grow it for them at cost, with no profit margin.

    Oregon is one of 37 states where the sheriff has to give a concealed handgun permit to anyone meeting the list of criteria, though they have some discretion to say what those criteria are. They generally require people to be 21, a U.S. citizen, pass a gun safety course, and have no criminal record or history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or domestic violence.

    The issue doesn't really come up in California, where concealed handgun licenses are much harder to get.

    If Willis loses, she plans to carry her pistol out in the open, in a holster on her hip, which is, under Oregon law, perfectly legal.

    "I've been done harm in my life and it won't ever happen again,"' she said about her reasons for wanting the gun. "I've never had to draw it"'

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...20050430.shtml
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  • #2
    I think the Sheriff's need to make sure any other person who has a prescription for valium, percocet or any other narcotic have their CCW's recinded immediatley.
    Be safe pulling back into the thread...
    http://infidelswithhonor.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dep D View Post
      I think the Sheriff's need to make sure any other person who has a prescription for valium, percocet or any other narcotic have their CCW's recinded immediatley.
      Why would that be? The issue involved is whether the person "(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled
      substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))." [18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3)]

      A person who has a valid prescription for a drug is not an unlawful user thereof.
      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DAL View Post
        Why would that be? The issue involved is whether the person "(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled
        substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))." [18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3)]

        A person who has a valid prescription for a drug is not an unlawful user thereof.
        Except that a prescription for marijuana can't possibly be valid. Marijuana is illegal under federal law and no exception is made for medical use. The fact that a state decides not prosecute people who have "the card" doesn't make marijuana legal.
        "Son, you are a walkin' violation of the laws of nature...But we don't enforce them laws."

        I am just a country boy tryin' to make some sense
        But I'd like to ask the Congress, I'd like to ask the President
        "Can ya tell me where all the money went?"
        We might not be broke but we're badly bent!


        The Tractors -- "Badly Bent" from the album Owner's Manual

        "Common sense. So rare, it should be a super power." Exodus 259

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HeadDoc View Post
          Except that a prescription for marijuana can't possibly be valid. Marijuana is illegal under federal law and no exception is made for medical use. The fact that a state decides not prosecute people who have "the card" doesn't make marijuana legal.
          Of course a prescription for marijuana is not valid under federal law, which is why it is illegal for people who have medical marijuana cards to carry guns. A law enforcement officer should not facilitate the violation of federal law.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dep D View Post
            I think the Sheriff's need to make sure any other person who has a prescription for valium, percocet or any other narcotic have their CCW's recinded immediatley.
            Surely you jest...
            FHP:

            1) APPLICATION: 03/2010
            2) PAT: 06/2010 PASSED
            3) POLYGRAPH: 11/2010 PASSED
            4) PSYCHOLOGICAL: 1/2011 PASSED
            5) MEDICAL AND VISION: 2/2011 PASSED
            6) BACKGROUND: PENDING
            7) COLONEL'S DECISION: PENDING
            8) ACADEMY: PENDING

            Comment


            • #7
              I am still waiting for the Second Amendment literalists to chime in on the side of the marijuana users.
              Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
              Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DAL View Post
                I am still waiting for the Second Amendment literalists to chime in on the side of the marijuana users.
                SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED

                I'm personally tired of it being called medical marijuana. For every one person who needs it, there are probably ten people who are just stoners committing fraud.
                This show is awesome, wrapped in supercool and smothered in bitchin. The only way it could be cooler is if he was riding a unicorn or something.

                M-11

                Comment


                • #9
                  DAL there is no such thing as a perscription for marijuana. It is a "reccomendation" it can not be perscribed.

                  I agree that medical marijuana card holders should not be CCW holders, let's say they haven't ingested and THC in a while, carry their gun and get into a shooting. THC levels are still detectable in their system and will cause all sorts of nightmares of determining just how under the influence they were.
                  Originally Posted by VegasMetro
                  maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, although I am a strong advocate of gun rights, I see this as a state-federal issue. As long as there is a federal law making marijuana illegal and that being a bar to gun ownership, the discussion is decided in favor of the law.

                    Originally posted by DAL View Post
                    Of course a prescription for marijuana is not valid under federal law, which is why it is illegal for people who have medical marijuana cards to carry guns. A law enforcement officer should not facilitate the violation of federal law.
                    But, there is the rub in this debate. Many law enforcement officers don't enforce violations of federal law on a daily basis. Remember, the federals won't let local LEOs arrest people for being illegal aliens (think AZ law shot down by the feds), so what's to say a local LEO can enforce the federal gun law?

                    In the last week, I probably let at least 8 illegals go after citing them for whatever state law violation I had them for. Their illegal status was immaterial.
                    Last edited by FNA209; 04-10-2011, 02:06 PM. Reason: I was really tired when i replied and screwed it up.
                    "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                    ______________________________________________

                    "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                    ______________________________________________

                    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PS100 View Post
                      Surely you jest...
                      Surely I do....
                      Be safe pulling back into the thread...
                      http://infidelswithhonor.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DAL View Post
                        Why would that be? The issue involved is whether the person "(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled
                        substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))." [18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3)]

                        A person who has a valid prescription for a drug is not an unlawful user thereof.
                        Actually I was joking about the prescription drug comment, but the issue is not federal statute, it is Oregon State law. The Sheriff's do not enforce federal law.

                        They want federal law to trump state law. Purchasing a firearm is under federal law. Carrying concealed is a state law. They do not like Oregon law, and want it changed.

                        The Sheriff's want federal and state law intertwined to their own liking. I understand and sympathize with their thought process, but I don't think it is going to happen.

                        Whether we like medical marijuana as LEO's is irrelevant.

                        In Colorado you can have up to 2 ounces of pot in your possession if you have a medical marijuana card. Think about that. 2 ounces is alot of pot. We have procedures to verify the card is valid. If so, the owner goes on their way. We don't arrest them under federal statute.
                        Last edited by Dep D; 04-10-2011, 12:02 PM.
                        Be safe pulling back into the thread...
                        http://infidelswithhonor.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DAL View Post
                          I am still waiting for the Second Amendment literalists to chime in on the side of the marijuana users.
                          Personally I don't want a person high on weed caring a slag shot around me. Would not mater if weed was legal on the federal level.
                          Beer is legal and I still do not care to have some one drunk packing a 40 cal standing behind me, to the side or with in so many feet.

                          How ever my stance on marijuana is if someone wants to set in their home and smoke a joint what is that to me? or the federal government for that mater.
                          Not that I would want them around me. Just what they do in their own homes should be their business.

                          Maybe I'm not the literalists you was thinking of, if not forget what I just said I'll just read the other responses..
                          Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Diazepam (Valium) is an addictive drug, and it is a benzodiazepine, not a narcotic. At one time it was the most prescribed drug in the US. Morphine is an addictive drug, and it is a narcotic, and physicians are allowed to prescribe it. Dronabinol is a comparatively moderately addictive drug, not a narcotic, contains the primary active compound (THC) contained in cannabis, and can be prescribed by physicians in every state.

                            If prescribed cannabis should be a disqualifier, so should many other prescribed drugs be, at least those that bear labels cautioning against the operation of machinery.

                            Does anyone besides me remember the Feds and Heads board game?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Forget about what I was going to say.
                              "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                              ______________________________________________

                              "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                              ______________________________________________

                              “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                              Comment

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