PENNSYLVANIA DOCTOR WHO USES MEDICAL MARIJUANA FIGHTS FOR HIS RIGHT TO OWN A GUN
- November 17, 2018
Despite the success of the marijuana debate in our country, like many things in life, victories of this nature come with a catch (or a major snag). In recent news, a Pennsylvania doctor who uses medical marijuana is currently suing lawmakers over his right to own a gun. According to the report, Matthew Roman (a medical practitioner in the Philadelphia area) proclaimed that the denial of granting him a firearm was a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment and his rights as a citizen of the U.S. On Thursday, November 15, 2018, Dr. Roman filed the suit against the U.S. Department of Justice and Acting Attorney General Matt Whittaker in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of the State of Pennsylvania. Let’s take a closer look and see what happened.
Lock, Stock, and Weed
Back in April, Dr. Roman had traveled to a licensed gun dealer in South Philadelphia to purchase a revolver for self-defense, but he immediately faced some issues. When the dealer asked Roman if he used cannabis and the doctor answered affirmatively, the dealer refused to sell the gun to Roman, based on the report from attorney John Weston. So why was this an issue?
At the start of the infamous War on Drugs in 1968, the government passed a piece of legislation that prohibits any cannabis users from operating or owning firearms. Later, in 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that this law does not violate the 2nd Amendment, which guarantees Americans of age the right to bear arms in our country.
If this is the case, then why is the suit being pushed? According to Weston, he is confident the case will shed more light on the issue with legalized marijuana in the State of Pennsylvania. Under the new medical act, Pennsylvanians do not have to be concerned about pot prohibition. People with past convictions for marijuana sales or illegal use are the only ones who are prevented from using guns.
However, in January, the Pennsylvania Department of Health took a major step by announcing it would no longer release the names of medical marijuana patients to local law enforcement. While the organization had initially added this rule to protect the legal rights of these patients, representatives realized this regulation would also deny cannabis patients with the right to wield a firearm.
Andrew Sacks (co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee) explained that the denial of firearms to medical marijuana patients is unfair and considers opioid prescriptions as a far worse crime that needs to be addressed before THC highs.
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