As we finish the first half of an eventful cannabis year, some of the GOP is chiming into the conversation. Minnesota conservatives are standing up to legislation that prevents medical cannabis patients from owning a gun. Like a lot of things in cannabis, most are unaware of the fact. Due to the DEA’s scheduling of cannabis, owning a firearm while consuming an illicit drug is violating federal law. However, conservatives in Minnesota have recently joined local medical-cannabis advocates as they lobby for a change to all of that. As part of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services budget bill, the collective is petitioning for the federal government to make an exemption.
This is a step towards the bipartensenship that cannabis has been lacking. As we’ve seen with legalization, in general, states tend to follow suit. If one state succeeds, it could easily be adopted in other states going forward. The bipartensenship of one state could very well follow suit too.
IN THE EYES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT…
Minnesota Representative Rod. Hamilton is one of the conservatives calling the law into question. Hamilton was prescribed medical marijuana for multiple sclerosis; but, he came across the issue of barring cannabis users from gun ownership.
“In the eyes of the federal government, we’re all felons, and it’s just tragic.” Minnesota Republican State Representative Hamilton in an interview to KSTP
As a result of the law, Hamilton never used his prescription. Despite that, he doesn’t doubt what cannabis can do and neither do his doctors! Hamilton went on to tell the Star Tribune that, “I am prioritizing, right, wrong or otherwise, my Second Amendment rights over using, in the eyes of Minnesota, a lawful medical product.” At the moment, the state rep is the sponser of a bill to reschedule cannabis to Schedule 2 and allow patients to buy firearms as well as hold a permit for medical marijuana.
“It needs to change at the federal level and here so people can legally get their gun permits renewed and so they can hunt with family and friends and not be in violation of the law. No one in the medical cannabis program wants to be in violation of the law.”
With this news, it could be the sway from the right side of the aisle that cannabis needs. In the past, republicans have stood against cannabis bills like the MORE Act in favor of more conservative leglislation in the STATES Act. Neither made it to a Senate vote, regardless. This was the same story for Minnesota’s recent bid for creational cannabis market. As the Tribune reports, if the bid is successful, Minnesota would be the first of 36 cannabis-friendly states that would appeal directly to the federal government for gun rights on behalf of its enrollees. That could also be the first state to start a chain reaction in cannabis.