Medical marijuana, gun laws at odds

Medical marijuana, gun laws at odds

Christine Roberts does not own a gun, and never will as far as the federal government is concerned as long as she continues to use medical marijuana. The 53-year-old Dickson City woman has taken the drug to ease pain from a serious neck injury since the first Lackawanna County dispensary opened in Scranton in April. As more dispensaries prepare to open statewide, authorities are warning patients that federal law prohibits anyone who uses marijuana from owning a gun, regardless of whether their state has legalized the drug for medical or recreational purposes. Roberts questions the logic of the law. “I know people who are not going on the drug because they would have to give up their guns,” Roberts said recently as she exited the Columbia Care medical marijuana dispensary in the Keyser Oak Shopping Center. “It’s not fair. You can get opioids and a gun. There’s more danger with opioids and guns than medical marijuana.” The legal quagmire forcing people to choose between weed and weapons stems from conflicting state and federal law. Although 29 states legalized marijuana for medical purposes, it remains illegal under federal law. “Unfortunately, it’s a situation where patients are forced to chose between their ability to purchase a firearm or the ability to treat illness,” said Morgan Fox, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We don’t think medical marijuana patients should be discriminated against when it comes to this or any other right.” Theoretically, authorities could confiscate weapons of anyone identified as holding […]

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