In a not-so-surprising move, the U.S. Government’s Justice Department will appeal a federal court decision protecting the gun rights of cannabis consumers.
Last month, a U.S. judge ruled the gun ban for cannabis users was unconstitutional. Judge Wyrick cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dealt with a Second Amendment interpretation.
In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, the Supreme Court found that New York’s restrictions on concealed carry violated the Fourteenth Amendment by stopping “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs.”
Judge Wyrick ruled that cannabis consumption alone was not a “constitutionally permissible means of disarming” Americans.
To no one’s surprise, the U.S. Justice Department filed an appeal.
Justice Department to Appeal Cannabis Gun Rights
U.S. Attorney Robert Troester and Assistant U.S. Attorney David McCrary do not reference why they’re appealing. Observers expect the feds to reveal their reasons in appeals court.
The case began when police arrested Jared Michael Harrison in May 2022 during a routine traffic stop. They searched his car and found a loaded revolver and cannabis. Harrison worked in the state’s legal medical cannabis industry but lacked proper paperwork.
Regardless, he was charged and so he sued. Judge Wyrick, appointed by Donald Trump in 2018, ruled in favour of Harrison’s gun rights and liberty to consume cannabis.
The Justice Department referenced case law that restricting gun ownership can be justified according to the Second Amendment’s original 1791 ratification.
But what the Justice Department does not reveal is that past gun bans on specific groups included slaves, former slaves, Native Americans and even Irish Catholics.
Judge Wyrick said these past laws “cannot provide the basis for a historical analogue.” Indeed, preventing cannabis consumers from owning guns is about as backward and reactionary as banning any nonviolent group from possessing weapons.
The Tide is Turning
Once upon a time, cannabis possession would land you inside a cage. Possessing cannabis and guns would be considered a double-whammy.
But with legal, recreational cannabis markets in 21 states, the question of cannabis and gun ownership is relevant as ever.
The Justice Department’s plan to appeal cannabis gun rights is yet another example of the anti-cannabis ideology of the Biden Administration. (Contrary to their lies).
But the tide is turning.
Former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (a Democrat) is pursuing a separate, ongoing federal lawsuit over gun rights and medical cannabis patients.
A federal district court dismissed their suit last November. They are currently appealing.
Modern-day reefer madness is not allowing cannabis consumers to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (ATF) form denies cannabis users their rights by forcing them to either lie under oath or forgo their gun rights.
Of course, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should be the name of a privately-owned American retail chain. Not a government agency.
States to the Rescue
As is the case with cannabis, state legislatures may come to the rescue. While the federal Justice Department and the ATF continue to harass cannabis consumers, a GOP Pennsylvania senator wants to remove state barriers to gun ownership for cannabis consumers.
The same is true in Maryland, where a House committee held a hearing last month on protecting gun rights for medical cannabis patients.
Federally, a GOP congressman filed a bill last January that would protect medical cannabis patients’ Second Amendment rights.
Indeed, as the GOP makes its peace with cannabis, they are more likely to protect the Second Amendment rights of America’s cannabis consumers.