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Medical marijuana laws cloud another legal area

We have discussed the issue of medical marijuana laws in Colorado and across the U.S. on this blog before. While progress has been made in order to allow those dealing with pain and illness to use the medical marijuana to help them, that progress is often tainted with further legal complications.

The newest legal surprise that's come in the wake of medical marijuana legalization is related to who can own a gun. It sounds as though the right to use medical marijuana has led to a decrease in the rights for those same people. They are prohibited from owning guns.

According to news reports, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced in a letter that medical marijuana users are part of a group that's ineligible to buy and own firearms. It's been federal law that people who use illegal drugs or other controlled substances cannot own guns.

But if someone lives in a state where they are legally allowed to use marijuana, should they be placed in the group of prohibited gun owners? According to the ATF and federal law, yes. The legalization of medical marijuana is a state-level process. State and federal laws have been battling it out in recent years over the limit of their powers with regards to marijuana legalization. The battle results in people being confused about their rights.

Those who have medical marijuana cards and, therefore, are legally allowed in Colorado and other medical marijuana states often wind up feeling like they are treated as drug offenders. They are living in the midst of a mixed message and want to be able to treat their medical needs without worrying about breaking the law. In a time of such legal confusion, it is crucial to rely on experienced, local legal counsel to protect one's freedoms.

Source

Msnbc.com: "Do medical marijuana users have right to bear arms? No, says ATF," Matt Voltz, Sep. 30, 2011

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