First (although I’m too lazy to look it up right now) this also happened in — I believe it was Oregon — and has a lot to do with federal law. However, Illinois is doubling down on it:
Patients who want to qualify for medical marijuana in Illinois would have to be fingerprinted for a background check and pay $150 a year â€” and give up their right to own a gun, state officials proposed Tuesday.
[ . . . ]
One new proposal states that a qualifying patient or caregiver may not possess a firearm, even if they have a state firearm owner’s identification card or concealed carry permit, and violators may be subject to sanctions by state police.
Federal law says that if you are an abuser of controlled substances, you cannot purchase a firearm — at least not from an FFL, since right on the NICS form you fill out for the FBI background check, you have to indicate whether you’re an abuser or not. Granted, barring an actual conviction for same, it’s on the honor system. I don’t know that federal law says you can’t own a gun (as differentiated from purchasing one) if you are a pot abuser. So, this proposed bill is going further than federal law, I believe.
Secondly, legitimately using marijuana — prescribed by a doctor — to alleviate a medical condition is not abusing it. Should a person taking prescription pain relievers be prohibited from owning a firearm? I don’t believe so.
Third, why would a caregiver be disqualified from possessing a firearm? Does that include the doctors who prescribed the medical marijuana, or just attending nurses or home attendants?
Okay, now comes the comedy part of it, along with the definition of a “caregiver”:
The rules would allow patients to designate a caregiver who could legally purchase and carry marijuana for them. Patients and caregivers would undergo a background check by Illinois State Police and would be rejected for any felony conviction for a violent crime or for possession of a controlled substance, including marijuana or methamphetamine.
So, if the patient has ever been convicted of possession of marijuana, they can’t be prescribed medical marijuana. Considering how many people have such — mostly misdemeanors — on their records . . . Incidentally, one exception to the prior conviction rule is if the applicant can somehow “prove” that at the time of the arrest, the marijuana was for medicinal purposes for a defined medical condition. Since “medical marijuana” isn’t actually, yet legal in Illinois, that’s a tall hurdle.
You know what this all proves? That Illinois lawmakers would really rather you don’t have pot for any reason, much less a firearm.
I’m already on record as believing that pot should simply be legalized for whatever reason. I’m also on record that I don’t have a dog in this hunt since I’m allergic to the stuff. I just think that if booze is legal, so should pot be legal. It’s about freedom to do what you want, including ingesting what you want, provided it doesn’t harm others. Don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking or smoking pot. But, in your own home? You should be able to inebriate yourself in the manner of your choice.
Besides, the tax revenues will help out many states having poorly managed finances.
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