Guns And Weed Conflict Heats Up: Pennsylvania DA Sues Feds Over Firearms Ban For Medical Marijuana Patients


The simmering dispute over gun ownership rights for medical marijuana patients heated up on Tuesday when Pennsylvania District Attorney Robert Greene filed a lawsuit against the federal government.

Greene and a group of gun rights advocates fired a fresh salvo in federal court with the first civil lawsuit of its kind, a strategic move distinct from previous criminal cases challenging the federal ban preventing medical marijuana patients from buying and possessing firearms.

“It’s not about winning or losing,” said Greene, who is a registered medical marijuana patient, Marijuana Moment reported, “but about asserting that this prohibition is unconstitutional and forcing the government to confront the absurdity of denying millions of Americans their Second Amendment rights based solely on their medical choices.”

Greene’s participation in the case is notable as the court filing states that he “intends to lawfully purchase, possess, and utilize firearms and ammunition so that he may exercise his constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and all other lawful purposes.” However, Green is barred from buying a gun because of his status as a medical marijuana patient.

Ongoing Cases

The current patchwork of rulings across the country highlights the growing tension between marijuana legalization efforts and federal gun laws. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a major blow to the ban in 2022, declaring it unconstitutional as applied to a man who used cannabis while possessing a gun. This put the Justice Department on the defensive, prompting multiple appeals and pushing the issue closer to the nation’s highest court.

Three cases pending before the Supreme Court could potentially settle the dispute once and for all. One involves a federal government appeal of the Fifth Circuit ruling, another centers on a similar case from Maryland and the third stems from a New York man’s challenge to the ban.

Second Amendment At The Center Of The Battle

At the heart of the legal battle lies the Second Amendment’s historical context. The plaintiffs argue that no historical precedent justifies disarming a person for using a substance legal in many states, while the Justice Department points to past restrictions on gun ownership for dangerous people such as the mentally ill and habitually drunk.

Hunter Biden Thrown Into The Mix

Adding fuel to the fire is the ongoing case against Hunter Biden, accused of gun possession despite past drug use. This high-profile example has thrust the issue into the national spotlight, further amplifying calls for reform.

With legal battles escalating and public debate intensifying, the question of whether medical marijuana patients can exercise their Second Amendment rights seems poised for a showdown. Whether the Supreme Court will definitively decide the matter, or Congress steps in to address the conflict, the stakes keep getting higher for millions of Americans caught in the crossfire.

Read next: Can Marijuana Use Cost You Your Right To Bear Arms? Supreme Court Poised To Weigh On Cannabis, Second Amendment

Photo: Courtesy of DG-RA and lindsayfox by Pixabay

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