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What To Know About Marijuana And Gun Ownership

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Recently, there has been a series of high profile people have have been convicted which has started the conversation about guns and marijuana. Under federal law, felons are prohibited from owning or possessing guns. But,  some states allows a felon’s rights to own a gun after serving their sentence or a waiting period.  But it is a process. Roughly 32% of U.S. adults say they own a gun and 44%, report living in a gun household.

But almost half of Americans have tried weed at one point.  Of course, they haven’t committed a crime, they have just consumed marijuana. Almost 85% believe it should be legal in some form.  And over 50% of the population have access to legal cannabis.

RELATED: THE DEA DECIDES TO RESCHEDULE MARIJUANA 

But, if you own a firearm and use marijuana you are in violation of federal law. It is unlawful for an unauthorized user of a controlled substance, including marijuana, to possess, ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition. It is also unlawful to sell a firearm or ammunition to any person if the seller knows or has reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of marijuana. In this context, unlawful use is based on federal law. Therefore, any person who uses marijuana, even if legal under state law, is prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition.

Should Budtenders Be Allowed To Carry Guns?
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This prohibition does not apply to users of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) or hemp products because these are not controlled substances for purposes of federal law, thanks to the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, known as the 2018 Farm Bill.

In order to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, an individual must complete Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Form 4473, which asks if you are an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” and includes a warning that the recreational and medical use of cannabis under state law does not alter the federal Controlled Substances Act which makes it illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana. It is a separate crime to lie about your marijuana use on the form. You can also be subject to heightened criminal penalties if found in possession of a firearm and marijuana at the same time.

RELATED: What Would Happen If Gun Laws Were Enforced Like Marijuana Laws?

If you are a medical marijuana user, it may be possible for law enforcement to obtain this information from a medical marijuana patient registry or state database to confirm your use of marijuana. Several states, including Maryland, have tried to protect medical marijuana patients by preventing state police from accessing the medical cannabis patient registry to verify whether a firearm applicant uses medical marijuana. However, some states, like Hawaii, explicitly grant law enforcement access to the state’s medical cannabis patient registry to evaluate whether an individual can legally possess a firearm.

RELATED: The Battle Between Gun Ownership And Medical Marijuana In Conservative States

Regardless of whether a state grants access to patient databases, the possession of a firearm and ammunition remains illegal federally if you are a cannabis user. Restricting access to medical marijuana databases simply makes it harder to determine whether a firearm applicant uses marijuana.

Firearms remain out-of-reach for cannabis consumers, even if your state has legalized cannabis. States cannot change the federal requirements for gun ownership and have no authority to supersede the ATF Form 4473 guidance documents that addresses marijuana use and gun ownership. Therefore, until marijuana is fully legalized on the federal level, it’s important to remember to keep your hands off those firearms.

 



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The Feds Have Until November To Help Veterans

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Soldiers have returned with PTSD and other serious ailments. The AMA and science said medical marijuana can help – but time may be running out.

In an acknowledgement from the medical community, the American Medical Association supports the rescheduling of cannabis to a Schedule III because it has proven medical benefits. A portion of the medical benefits help soldiers returning from service with both physical and mental scars. Unfortunately, time may be running out to help.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

Both Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did the research and agreed to the rescheduling. They are important organizations being clear it will help are military veterans. PTSD is real to the point of over 30,000 active duty personnel and veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 have committed suicide. That is the roughly the same amount of wiping out all of Fairbanks, Alaska.  More veterans committed suicide, almost 100,000, after Vietnam, than in the war (roughly 58,000). Opioid addiction, which medical marijuana can combat, is raging among veterans with PTSD and chronic pain. But leaders like Mike Johnson (R-LA) have worked hard to block help.

Photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

While veteran facilities are federal property and therefore do not allow marijuana on premise, even in legal states, they have become supportive of medical marijuana. There have been significant treatment changes including:

  • Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
  • Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
  • VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veteran’s VA medical record in order to have the information available in treatment planning. As with all clinical information, this is part of the confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.

The clear case for medical marijuana has been proven by science, but with veterans, it is an important step to helping them in a return to civilian life. Representative Johnson has indicted with more control, marijuana could return to the outlaw status and the new GOP VP has stated he is not a fan of cannabis. The DEA must follow the recommendations and make a move quickly for this to happen and to help soldiers.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

Bipartisan congressional lawmakers are seeking to remove a controversial section of a Johnson approved spending bill which would block the Justice Department from rescheduling marijuana.



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Marijuana Can Bond Grandparents To Family

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Like wine with dinner or a beer in the backyard, marijuana is becoming very common.

With almost 60% of adults drinking alcohol, it has been a staple of family events. Relatives including grandparents, cousins, adult grandkids and more have sat at a table and toasted with beer, wine or booze….and now cannabis may be in the mix.  As legalization has grown, cannabis is being embraced by more people and is popping at all sorts of family gatherings. And, it seems, marijuana can bond grandparents to family.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

In a third party survey sponsored by Sanctuary Wellness, some interesting data has given hope about intergenerational bonding. There are all sorts of concerns about boomers and Gen Z not relating, but marijuana like music is showing a positive trend. Nearly one in three have tried cannabis, far less than alcohol, but still a significant number.  In the survey, Millennials use the most followed closely by Gen X then Gen Z and finally Baby Boomers. And while a whopping 86% of Gen Z and Millennials support the legaization of weed…a full 71% of Baby Boomers do also.

Gen Z is slowly turning away from alcohol and feel they have way more stress than their grandparents.  Due to the embrace from the medical community, Boomers are starting to see cannabis as aid in dealing with chronic pain and sleep issues. The plant can be very effective without as many harsh side effects.

Once interesting factor in the survey is the use of gummies. Microdosing has become huge and Gen Z sees it as a way to manage anxiety.  With gummies, you see 76% use of Baby Boomers and 72% with Gen Z….far higher than Millennials and Gen X.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

For many Europeans, alcohol is a part of their culture and viewed as a social activity. In Italy for example, children are eased into drinking with a bit of wine at dinner. They’re taught from an early age that alcohol is something to drink casually and in moderation. Alcohol abuse is less coming in Italy and France due to the generation training.  Maybe marijuana, which has clear medical benefits, could be another thing which generations share to make for a better life.



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Data Says Summer Is The Time To Try New Things

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While in school, summer was the dream. Weeks of days open to adventure, sleeping in, exploring and hanging with friends. It held a magical quality and there usually always seemed something new to try. It turns out people carry the feeling into adulthood, in fact, a majority of adults see the summer as a chance for a bit of adventure.

RELATED: Science Tells Us How Marijuana Makes Us Feel Happy

Not everything is crazy like a cross country road trip, but maybe having different foods, camping or learning to grill. Data says summer is the times to try different things. One survey was clear 59% of people want to try something new this summer. Among the desires include 17% cited a desire to go to see a new state or city, while more than a third (39%) said seeing friends and family is a must for their summer vacation. Going bungee jumping, paragliding, trying marijuana and making your ice cream are also things people want to explore.

Photo by Cassie Gallegos via Unsplash

Some people have already made or have completed some of their summer wish list. Among the actives include waterskiing (44%), wakeboarding (43%), surfing (41%). Other want to learn something new like how to make water balloons, bowling and gardening. Others want to attend outdoor concerts, travel and most of explore.

And, some want to experiment with craft cocktails, summer drinks, and marijuana.

RELATED: The Best Hydrating Cocktails For A Hot Weekend

Studies have previously discovered teenagers and college students were more likely to try alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana for the first time during summer months, but a study published in the Journal for General Internist Medicine, focused its attention on age groups including adults. In addition, the researchers were interested in the time of initiation for cocaine and hallucinogenic drugs for various demographics.

Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine, and other researchers suggested an explanation for why people were more likely to experiment with drugs in the summer. The emergence of music festivals and outdoor concerts along with more free time in the summer.



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