The state of Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana on Tuesday, a major breakthrough for one of the more conservative states in America. But now many people are worried how their new laws will affect their gun ownership.
Many Oklahoma new outlets are reporting on how people who register for the state's medical marijuana program may lose their right to bear arms. In 2011 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) officially made it policy that people who use medical marijuana, even if they obtain it through legal state means, are still considered unlawful users of an illegal drug and cannot purchase firearms. And ATF officials are reiterating to Oklahoma media that this is still the case.
"Using a controlled substance is a prohibitor, similar to being convicted of a felony offense," Meredith Davis, a special agent with the ATF, told a Oklahoma NBC affiliate.
This doesn't mean the ATF will start raiding people who obtain medical marijuana cards to see if they own guns. The ATF's policy really only affects people who are registered medical marijuana users who go to purchase a firearm. Gun sellers do ask if customers use cannabis and if the answer is yes, even if it's legal, they're required to not sell to them.
There are ways to get around the law though. For instance, if a medical marijuana user is married, their spouse could purchase the gun and it would still be legal to keep it in their residence. The ATF says the gun needs to be stored in a place where the cannabis user cannot access it.
Of course, it does seem a little weird that legally using marijuana is one of the few restrictions in America that prevents someone from owning a gun, but obviously America must know what it's doing!
(h/t NBC News)