US Judge: Ban on Marijuana Users Owning Guns Unconstitutional

    US Judge: Ban on Marijuana Users Owning Guns Unconstitutional
    Last updated Feb 06, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via The Guardian]


    • On Friday, US District Judge Patrick Wyrick in Oklahoma ruled a federal law banning marijuana users from possessing firearms violates the Second Amendment. The ruling came as Wyrick dismissed a case against a man under that law, ruling it violated his right to bear arms.[1]
    • Lawyers for Jared Michael Harrison argued that the federal law was inconsistent with the historical tradition of firearm regulation, while federal prosecutors said it was "consistent with a longstanding historical tradition...of disarming presumptively risky persons," including the intoxicated.[2]
    • Harrison's case stems from a traffic stop last year, during which he had possession of a gun. He told police that he was "on his way to work at a medical marijuana dispensary, but that he did not have a state-issued medical-marijuana card," adding that he was on probation in Texas for aggravated assault.[3]
    • Prosecutors further argued that Harrison was not part of "the people" protected by the Second Amendment because "he is not ‘a law-abiding citizen.’" They added that he is no different from "felons and the mentally ill" because marijuana users are "similarly 'unvirtuous.'"[3]
    • Wyrick concurred with the defense, ruling that "the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation's history and tradition of firearms regulation supports."[4]
    • Wyrick's decision echoes that of SCOTUS last year in a case brought in New York, which also amended standards for interpreting the Second Amendment. It also follows a federal court decision in Louisiana on Thursday that allowed people with domestic violence restraining orders against them to own guns.[4]


    Left narrative

    Several of the most high-profile mass shooters in America, as well as many lesser known perpetrators, have been known marijuana users. The federal government understands this, which is why laws like this were put in place and the Justice Dept. has worked to disarm these dangerous individuals. As more states legalize marijuana, it's a foregone conclusion that potential shooters will get their hands on it, which is why law enforcement needs the tools to combat this growing threat.

    Right narrative

    The federal law that prosecutors were using against Harrison specifically prohibits only dangerous individuals from possessing firearms. As both the Oklahoma and New York cases involved people with violent histories, it seems the government has a violence problem, not a law-abiding gun owner and weed smoker problem. With hundreds of thousands of marijuana users in Oklahoma alone, no rational person would call all of them — or even a majority — dangerous people.

    Political split



    Sign up to our newsletter!