The National Rifle Association bills itself as “proud defenders of history’s patriots and diligent protectors of the Second Amendment.” But while the NRA staunchly opposes gun sale restrictions on would-be pistol packers on the government’s “no-fly” list, the lobbying organization is OK with banning state-legal medical cannabis patients from purchasing firearms without due process.
What the hell, NRA? Where you been all these years?
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a federal ban on gun sales to medical cannabis patients does not violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The court’s decision affects cannabis consumers in nine western states and two U.S. territories.
The ruling applies equally to lawful medical and recreational cannabis users, who are specifically asked about marijuana use on the federal firearms form. Federal data from 2012 estimates roughly 1.2 million law-abiding marijuana users in the three recreational cannabis states — Washington, Oregon and Alaska — and Marijuana Policy Project estimates another 840,000 pot patients in California, Arizona, Montana and Nevada. That’s around 2 million legal cannabis consumers banned from buying guns, not including the toking tourists.
Now is the time for the NRA to come out of the cannabis closet and support the Second Amendment rights of state-legal tokers. Such a shift can even play into the NRA’s anti-liberal rhetoric and fearmongering. The 9th Circuit is viewed by many as the most liberal in the country. Labeled anti-American by hyperbole-prone politicians, many conservatives view the Ninth as a hotbed of godless, “activist judges.” That same court just upheld a ban on licensed gun dealers selling firearms to a few million Americans, most of whom have not been convicted of or even charged with a crime.
And if the NRA needs more political cover than that, just tell people to consider it more evidence that Obama is trying to take away our guns.