While states have slowly been legalizing medical marijuana for over 20 years, a surprising new development has arisen in recent months in regards to gun ownership and cannabis. Law enforcement officials in a few states have made statements indicating that medical marijuana patients would possibly have to forfeit their firearms if they want to keep their prescriptions. But the governor of Pennsylvania is putting a stop to that.
In an interview with WESA, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he believes medical marijuana users don't pose a threat to the public and should be allowed access to firearms. To help alleviate the fears of his constituents, he emphasized that the state will not confiscate guns from medical marijuana patients.
“We’re not going to take their guns away," Wolf said.
However, purchasing a firearm is a different story. Gun store owners need to follow federal guidelines that are made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) when deciding whether to allow or not allow a sale. One of the ATF's questions gun store owners must ask is whether a person is "an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” The ATF also notes that since marijuana is illegal at the federal level, even if it's legal in that state, it's still considered a controlled substance when it comes to gun purchases.
So while Wolf can prevent Pennsylvania authorities from confiscating guns from the state's medical marijuana patients, there's not much he can do about the patients who want to purchase a firearm.