The Oregon Supreme Court is in the midst of a case that questions the role or impact of medical marijuana use on the right to bear a firearm. Four plaintiffs are before the court, all of which receive medical marijuana via prescription and all of which are also licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
The main source of disdain is Sheriffs across the state who believe medical marijuana users should not be allowed to carry weapons like everyone else. They see the combination as a disaster waiting to happen. Others, including trial court judges in the four cases, believe the parties in question are responsible gun owners and responsible citizens, not pot heads with itchy trigger fingers.
Medical marijuana laws have been on the books in Oregon for about 13 years now and the prescription pot is used for everything from pain disorders to treating the side effects of chemotherapy. Currently, there are about 40,000 medical marijuana users in the state.
The President of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association believes the “whole medical marijuana thing is a farce,” according to the LA Times. He states the majority of the medical users spend most of their day “running around stoned” and is concerned that weapons in the hands of these high patients isn’t in the best interest of public safety.
Because federal law still bans the use of marijuana as a controlled substance and also makes it illegal for someone to possess drugs and a gun at the same time, they argue that medical marijuana users shouldn’t be afforded the same gun rights.
Carrying a concealed weapon isn’t that difficult in Oregon, where nearly anyone can get a permit unless they have convictions on their record.
Those who use medical marijuana and carry weapons argue that they are rarely, if ever, “high”. They also state they have a need for the firearms, for self protection and security. One Circuit Court judge stated the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court cases are “hardworking, honest, conscientious people who use medical marijuana as contemplated by the statue…They are similarly responsible in their use and possession of weapons.”
Law enforcement officials seem to have visions of Reefer Madness on their minds, with wild marijuana users running the streets armed. On the contrary, the plaintiffs in this case are so ill and in pain, the likelihood they would make any sudden movements, even to draw a weapon, seem pretty rare.
However, law enforcement officials are tasked with enforcing laws, and you can bet if they find that you are violating one, they will do something about it. Whether you are facing marijuana charges or weapons charges, you need someone on your side. Contact my offices today for a free consultation on your case.