A federal judge in Oklahoma City ruled last week that federal laws banning cannabis users from owning firearms are unconstitutional and should not be enforced by prosecutors. Citing a ruling that dramatically expanded gun rights, U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick has dismissed a federal indictment indicting an Oklahoma man for violating a ban, ruling that gun possession is warranted. decided that the ban had denied him the right to Per the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Under current federal law, cannabis users are prohibited from owning or purchasing firearms because they are “illegal users or addicts” of controlled substances. This ban applies to all cannabis users, including those who use marijuana products that are legal under state law and the Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms of all Americans.
In May 2022, Jared Michael Harrison was arrested by police in Lawton, Oklahoma. That’s after officers found marijuana and a loaded revolver in his car during a traffic stop. Harrison told police he didn’t have state-issued identification that would allow him to use cannabis for medical purposes, but he was on his way to work in a legal medical marijuana business. , indicted Harrison for a nationwide ban on gun ownership by marijuana users.
Harrison’s attorney challenged the gun ban on cannabis users, arguing that the ban was inconsistent with the country’s historical tradition of regulating firearms. It cites the decision it handed down as the State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which set a new standard for interpreting the Second Amendment. Under that ruling, gun restrictions enacted by the government must be “consistent with the historical tradition of firearms control in this country.”
Judge cites recent Supreme Court ruling
Wyrick, former President Donald Trump’s appointee, agreed with Harrison’s lawyers, who ruled Friday that the ban was unconstitutional. writing it “The mere use of marijuana has none of the characteristics that the nation’s history and gun control traditions uphold.” It rejected federal prosecutors’ arguments that it would justify stripping him of his rights, and ruled that a federal ban on gun ownership “is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison.” .
Wyrick also points out that cannabis use “is not per se a violent, coercive, or threatening act,” and that Oklahoma has banned marijuana despite its continued illegality in the federal government. Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, and the state now has more than 2,000 licensed dispensaries where patients can obtain medical cannabis. there is.
Harrison’s public defender, Laura Deskin, said: the judgment said It was “a step in the right direction for many Americans who deserve the right to carry arms and protect their homes just like any other American.”
Brian Vicente, founding partner of cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente Cederberg LLP, said last week’s ruling in Oklahoma was a “substantial expansion of rights for cannabis consumers.”
“For decades, in various states, medical marijuana patients have been asked to choose between participating in state legal cannabis programs and owning a firearm,” Vicente said in an email. “This federal court decision secures the right to use cannabis and the right to own a gun for adults, effectively removing the restrictions and associated stigma facing these adults. It’s part of a broader trend of conservative states adopting marijuana policies, with both Alabama and Mississippi establishing medical cannabis programs in 2022, and Oklahoma on March 7 of this year. We are poised to legalize cannabis.”