Since that post, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has strengthened its position, adding "a new warning statement reminding applicants that marijuana is still considered federally illegal despite state laws allowing medical marijuana or recreational use. In other words: The ATF doesn’t want gun sellers or buyers to mistake the increasingly common state-legal cannabis for the nonexistent federally legal marijuana."
After I wrote, I had couple people tell me that the same thought keeps them from registering for medical marijuana, even though they have conditions that would qualify them for it.
Others agree that while such a cross-checking is not supposed to happen, it could happen. Somebody in Agency A does a favor for his buddy in Agency B — that is how the world works, especially in law enforcement.
And some other news picked up since then:
¶ President-elect Trump has picked Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, and whatever else may be said of him, good or bad, Sessions appears to be a hardcore Drug Warrior.
"We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized. It ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger," Sessions said during an April Senate hearing.Trump's pick for the Dept. of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John Kelly, at least makes room for medical use.
¶ While 28 states and the District of Columbia now permit medical and/or recreational cannabis use, the federal government could still swing its hammer at any time and force them to comply with federal law that regards it as illegal. It's just that the political will is not there to do so. Read more about obstacles here.
¶ Even "loose" Colorado may further restrict legal home growers, based on the assumption that they are feeding the "gray market."
¶ Finally — and this is disturbing — the Obama Administration has even cracked down on cannabidiol (CBD), the product used for medical treatment that does not get you high. The industry reacted:
"Once again, the federal government has shown that it has not caught up with modern science," says Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. "It's common knowledge that CBD has numerous medical uses, including curbing the effects of epilepsy and reducing muscle inflammation from injuries. To deny that shows a complete disregard for the facts."I had just bought a bottle of CBD-infused hemp oil by mail from an organic grower in southern Colorado to put on my dry, cracked hands in the winter. But apparently that easy purchase violated "international treaties," and we can't have that. The DEA claims its new move is primarily "administrative." (Nothing to see here, move along.) It's just that shipping CBD oil is now a federal violation unless companies go through a whole new restrictive registration process, right now!
A lawyer whose practice focuses on cannabis commented,
“The sky is not falling; however, this is a very concerning move by the DEA,” [Bob] Hoban said. “What it purports to do is give the DEA control of all cannabinoids as a controlled substance.”
Even if this new code may be rooted in an administrative action to better track research and imports and exports, Hoban said the danger lies in when other federal and state agencies use the drug codes as defining factors of what’s legal and illegal. . . .
“It worries me because the definition of any marijuana-derived products, such as cannabinoids, are not unlawful substances, per se,” he said. “It seems like they’re trying to extend their authority over all cannabinoids.”Regulators got to regulate, don't you know. Despite the Sessions nomination, it would be highly ironic if Trump's people ended up being less passive-aggressive about cannabis than the Obama Administration. But I am not holding my breath.
That said, if you are purchasing firearms, why stick your head in a noose by being a registered marijuana user, at least until the law changes to reflect public opinion?