Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Over Gun Rights

A Philadelphia physician who both prescribes and uses medical marijuana is suing the federal government over a statute that bars him from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm. 

Matthew Roman says he was denied a firearm at a local gun store in April because of his status as a medical marijuana patient, despite the fact that medicinal cannabis is legal in Pennsylvania. The basis is the 1968 federal Gun Control Act, which prohibits users of any “unlawful” controlled substance to own or purchase a gun. Because the federal government considers all forms of marijuana illegal, even medicinal pot applies.

Pennsylvania State Police warned medical marijuana patients that they could lose their gun rights back in January. Honolulu was at the center of a similar firestorm last year after the island’s medical marijuana patients began receiving notices from police to surrender their guns within 30 days. The U.S. 9th Circuit upheld the prohibition in 2016 in a case that originated out of Nevada.

Like so many issues stemming from the discrepancies between state and federal drug laws, this may ultimately require an act of Congress to be resolved.

Don’t hold your breath.


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