Will medical marijuana patients lose 2nd Amendment rights?

By Mike Vasilinda - Tallahassee Bureau Chief

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An admitted alcoholic can legally purchase a firearm in Florida, but a recent change to a federal firearm transaction form makes it clear a person who has been prescribed medical marijuana might be giving up their Second Amendment rights.

The state medical marijuana patient database shows there are 26,968 qualified users. The number is going up each week, and is expected to top several hundred thousand under the current law. 

Every gun buyer fills out the ATF’s Form 4473. It asks nine questions about your life, including: Are you under indictment, been convicted of stalking, a fugitive from justice, or mentally defective?

Question 11 E asks if you are an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana. It comes with this warning: Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, no matter what your state has done.

Gun dealers said a person legally prescribed marijuana and telling the truth would not be sold a gun.

“If you check box 11 E, basically it rejects my form, and I don’t allow you to purchase a gun,” licensed gun dealer Jaime Chamberlain said.

It’s not a problem gun dealer mark Folmar has had to deal with since the warning was added last October.

“I’m sure it’s going to come up sometime, but so far it hasn’t come up,” Folmar said.

The ATF confirmed what the gun dealers said.

Medical marijuana guru John Morgan said the federal law is stopping real progress, predicting the NRA would become pro-medical marijuana at the federal level.

Marijuana advocate Taylor Biehl said patients shouldn’t have to give up their rights.

“If they legally are accessing medicine to treat their debilitating diseases, they now could possibly forfeit their right to bear arms,” Biehl said.

The names of marijuana patients in Florida is confidential. News4Jax asked the Department of Law Enforcement if they plan to check that database against gun purchase applications. They have not yet responded.

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