I have not heard too many hunting- and shooting writers address this issue, but it does not take much of a conspiratorial mindset to see a trap here that could be set for legal gun-owners.
As a Coloradan, I have seen the Obama Administration speak with forked tongue on the cannabis issue. When Colorado first legalized the stuff, there were no DEA agents kicking down store doors. I had the feeling that our votes as a "swing state" in presidential elections mattered enough that they were not going to come and start arresting people on federal charges.
But the administration's other hand held the big stick:
• Cannabis businesses were constantly blocked when they tried to have business banking, because the federal government never told banks and credit unions to stop treating these as criminal busineses. Worried about their own status, the financial companies refused to open account and shut down accounts that they learned were connected with cannabis.
• Industrial hemp farmers were not hassled either — except the feds would not let them import seed from Canada, where it's legal. And they have banking trouble too: some are turning to Bitcoin and other electronic money systems.
• Despite various petititons, the Obama Administration refused last August to reclassify cannabis, leaving it as a "Schedule 1" drug, right there with heroin. That's handy if you plan to prosecute someone.
• Likewise, despite the evidence that cannabis helps veterans with PTSD, the Veterans Administration takes a hard line against it. It's illegal for active-duty military, of course, but veterans can get an extra kick in the butt:
Now let's talk about Form 4473, the form you fill out at the gunshop counter when you make a purchase.For instance, veterans are routinely blood-tested every time they go in for a VA appointment, [VA spokesman Sam] House said. So if a veteran tweaks his or her back in a way for which a doctor would prescribe prescription painkillers, when the bloodwork comes back positive for marijuana, the VA doctor can no longer prescribe the painkillers.
Question 11e asks, "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?"
It stands to reason that thousands of buyers are checking "No" with mental reservations. "I smoke occasionally, but heck no, I'm not an addict. And in my state I'm not an 'unlawful user' either!"
As Wikipedia says, "The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required "'bound-book' called an Acquisition and Disposition Log. A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business."
So imagine a presidential administration that wanted to stick to the law gun-owners. They collect the 4473's, cross-reference them with state records over who has a medical marijuana card, and there you have it — a huge list of people who can be federally prosecuted for perjury, at the least.
There is some legal protection for that information, but where there's a will, there's a way to get an approving legal opinion from government counsel.
Some people might consider this a feature, not a bug.
Too conspiritorial, or quite possible?