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Should medical pot users get to keep their guns?

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In contradiction to federal law, the state of Illinois is proposing that medical marijuana users be allowed to have firearms.

After all, what does one’s state of mind have to do with being in possession of a deadly weapon?

The move is in response to a proposal made by the Illinois Department of Public Health that required gun owners who smoke medical marijuana to surrender their firearms, according to Fox News.

Illinois recently approved medical marijuana under a four-year experiment, with the law regulating its use being considered among the strictest in the nation.

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Federal law prohibits “shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition,” while under a controlled substance, Fox News reported.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes,” Dannette Seward, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told Fox News.

As the legalization of medical marijuana continues to spread across America, the issue of gun ownership is cropping up again and again.

Fox News reported that in Oregon, sheriffs in two counties denied concealed handgun licenses for medical marijuana users, a decision that was eventually overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court.

And Nevada and Washington state have seen cases where potential buyers were denied gun licenses because they had medical marijuana licenses.

The National Rifle Association has been oddly quiet on the issue.

“We don’t have a position on it,” NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde told the Chicago Tribune.

Richard Pearson, executive director for The Illinois State Rifle Association, told The Associated Press that it will take time to resolve the matter. 

“I think it will be a few years before this gets worked out,” he said.

Tom Tillison


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