Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patients Seek Gun Rights

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Patients Seek Gun Rights

Unsplash ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Staunch conservatives and advocates of legal marijuana have formed an unlikely alliance in Minnesota to pressure the Legislature to allow medical cannabis patients to own guns. The more than 35,000 patients in Minnesota’s program can’t own guns as the law now stands because the federal government classifies marijuana as an illicit drug, on par with heroin, and prohibits anyone who uses an “unlawful” substance from purchasing a firearm. So some gun-rights supporters and pro-legalization groups and legislators are lobbying during the special session to allow the Minnesota Department of Health to petition the federal government for an exemption. The change is being debated as part of the state’s public safety and health and human services budget bills. If their effort is successful, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported this week, Minnesota would be the first of 36 states that allow medical marijuana in some form to appeal directly to the federal government on behalf of its enrollees. The ranks of the state’s medical marijuana patients are expected to triple or quadruple over the next few years under a new law that liberalizes the state’s restrictive program to allow smokable marijuana instead of more expensive pills or liquid extracts. “The registry is going to grow a lot,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson, a Republican from Lake Crystal, who has been advocating for the change. “All of those people will be denied the right to get a shotgun in the fall to go hunting.” Republican Rep. […]

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