Last week the Honolulu police announced that medical marijuana patients must surrender their guns in the city. The announcement drew a lot of controversy because it punished residents for engaging in a perfectly legal activity and because it implied that medicinal cannabis users are either unstable or dangerous. But now it appears the Honolulu police are backing off that policy, at least a little bit.

The Honolulu police announced that they will no longer require medical marijuana patients to turn in their guns. But they didn't say that they will do so indefinitely. The HPD said they're consulting with the courts and other governmental agencies to determine what the best course of action is on this issue.

“This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that’s legally sound and serves our community,” HPD Chief Susan Ballard said. “Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right.”

They also reiterated that medical marijuana patients will be denied new applications to own firearms. So this is probably not so much a change of course as much as it is a delay. 

Last month, at least 30 medical marijuana users in Honolulu received letters informing them they needed to surrender their firearms within 30 days. Presumably, all 30 of those letter are now void.

This story also generated controversy in gun control circles, with many pointing out the hypocrisy of medical marijuana patients being denied their rights to a firearms when there are so few restrictions on purchasing weapons for others.

(h/t Honolulu Star Advertiser)