Guns & Pot: An Uneasy Combo
June 17, 2014
Anti-gun plutocrat George Soros is just as big an advocate for drug legalization as is he is for firearms confiscation. My guess is that he and those like him probably think there's no overlap between gun owners and marijuana users, on grounds that people are either crew-cutted, pistol-packing NRA members or mellow, bead-wearing potheads. But the two populations do overlap, and that causes some interesting dilemmas when states like Colorado and Washington legalize cannabis.
States can legalize drugs, but they are remain illegal under the Controlled Substances Act and are mentioned in sundry other federal regulations, including the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA). Now, the feds have chosen not to try to enforce marijuana prohibition in the pot-friendly states, at least so far. But since GCA '68 forbids "habitual marijuana users" from possessing firearms, state and local law enforcement has made pot use a disqualifier for concealed carry licenses.
As a Richland, Wash., woman found, a local police chief can cite federal law to deny a license. If federal law says you can't lawfully have a gun, then how is a police chief supposed to issue a carry license for a gun you can't own?
Local police chief Chris Skinner cited a BATF directive to gun dealers forbidding them to sell to anyone with a medical marijuana card, without regard to state law.
"That really put us in a kind of a bind for the first time trying to make a determination as to whether or not we in good conscience could issue a CPL to somebody knowing that potentially was going to be in violation of federal law," Skinner told KOMO TV.
It's easy to find some sympathy for both sides of this one. If marijuana is really legal in Washington, why shouldn't a user be able to avail herself of all rights of Washington citizenship, including a carry license? On the other hand, how is a police chief supposed to issue a license to carry a gun the prospective licensee can't own under federal law? Before you idly suggest the chief just ignore federal law, how do you like it when places like San Francisco declare themselves "sanctuary cities" for illegal aliens and refuse to enforce immigration law?
The most logical solution here is pot legalization at the federal level. It is assumed by loudmouth internet commentators that gun owners would oppose that, but most gun owners I know take the approach of "you stay out of my holster, I'll stay out of your bong."
Interestingly, there is a discernable turn against legalization by the elite and reliably anti-gun media, as exemplified by Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times.
Now that legalized weed is on the horizon, they seem to be losing their enthusiasm for it. It's probably too late for that. Just like gay marriage, commercial marijuana is going to be the law of the land, and is going to have to coexist with gun ownership. George Soros won't have his dream of a pot-addled, disarmed populace. Some will smoke pot, others will own guns, and some will do both.