No guns: Ohio’s medical marijuana users won’t be able to have firearms


People who register with the state of Ohio to legally use medical marijuana will be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, according to guidance released by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

In an open letter to federally licensed firearms dealers, the ATF advised in 2011 that marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law so any use of the drug is unlawful, and gun dealers are prohibited from providing guns or ammo to anyone they have cause to believe uses pot.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such is sanctioned by state law,” the memo says.

RELATED: Springfield, Yellow Springs to get large marijuana growing operations

The law applies to more than just buying guns. The ATF letter says marijuana users are prohibited from “shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.”

Anyone applying to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer must sign a form attesting he or she is not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

“Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside,” the form notes.

Lying on the form is a felony under federal law, punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

RELATED: Ohio’s medical marijuana: What’s really going on?

“There is definitely a conflict between the state laws and the federal laws,” said Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

It’s not clear how to reconcile that conflict, he said, “We are confused as everyone else at this point.”

When Ohio’s medical marijuana program becomes operational in September 2018, Ohioans will be able to register to use cannabis if they have a recommendation from a physician saying they have one of 21 qualifying conditions.

RELATED: Here are the 21 conditions that could qualify you for medical marijuana in Ohio

Industry analysts have estimated as many of 24 percent of the state’s population – or about 2.8 million Ohioans – have a qualifying condition.

The conflict between federal firearms laws and state cannabis laws has flared up on other states.

MAP: Where medical marijuana could be grown in Ohio

In Hawaii, Honolulu police last month told residents who had medical marijuana cards they have 30 days to turn in their firearms to authorities, according to reports in the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The Associated Press reports that a federal circuit court of appeals ruling on a case out of Nevada found that the federal ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana users doesn’t violate the Second Amendment.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

$96M plan ‘transforms public housing in Dayton’
$96M plan ‘transforms public housing in Dayton’

A $96 million proposal to transform public housing in West Dayton calls for demolishing Hilltop Homes, shrinking and replacing DeSoto Bass units, adding new mixed-income housing and making other investments. The multi-phase project — which could take as many as 15 years to complete, depending on funding — seeks to replace obsolete housing...
Event targets jobs, services for local veterans
Event targets jobs, services for local veterans

Veterans can look for a job and find out about resources available to them at the third annual Veterans Moving Forward gathering on Wednesday at Wright State University. Dozens of employers will be at the event’s first job fair, said Cassie Barlow, chairwoman of the Greater Miami Valley myVeterans Community. The resource fair will connect veterans...
Man convicted in Xenia puppy abuse case back in jail, awaits sentencing
Man convicted in Xenia puppy abuse case back in jail, awaits sentencing

After missing his sentencing hearing in April, the first person convicted under Goddard’s Law in Greene County is back in custody. Matthew David Bolen, 24, was booked into the Greene County Jail at 2:30 a.m. Sunday and is being held on suspicion of violation of community control sanctions, according to jail records. Bolen failed to show up for...
Ohio voters step closer to voting on payday lending reforms
Ohio voters step closer to voting on payday lending reforms

Consumer advocates are keeping the pressure on the payday lending industry by simultaneously pushing lawmakers to adopt reforms and going forward with a ballot effort. The advocates won approval Monday for their petition language from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Once they clear the Ohio Ballot Board, they’ll be allowed to start gathering...
Centerville names new principal for Driscoll Elementary
Centerville names new principal for Driscoll Elementary

Centerville City Schools has named Erin Bucher as the principal of Driscoll Elementary for the 2018-19 school year. Bucher will be paid $98,564 in her new position, and Centerville’s Director of Human Resources Dan Tarpey says that her administrative experience will be a plus moving forward. MORE: Student brings loaded gun brought to Moraine...
More Stories