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Medical Marijuana Users Fight For Gun Rights


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#1 Michael Komorn

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:27 PM





Medical Marijuana Users Fight For Gun Rights



http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=135105875



by The Associated Press

Cynthia Willis shows off her medical marijuana card, concealed handgun permit, and her Walter P-22 pistol on March 25, 2011 at a firing range in White City, Ore. Willis sued her local sheriff after she was denied a concealed handgun permit for acknowledging she holds a medical marijuana card. Oregon sheriffs feel giving a concealed handgun permit to medical marijuana users violates a federal law barring gun ownership to drug addicts. But Oregon courts have twice ruled that this is one situation where federal law does not trump state law. Sheriffs have appealed and the case is pending in the Oregon Supreme Court.





Associated Press Cynthia Willis shows off her medical marijuana card, concealed handgun permit, and her Walter P-22 pistol on March 25, 2011 at a firing range in White City, Ore. Willis sued her local sheriff after she was denied a concealed handgun permit for acknowledging she holds a medical marijuana card. Oregon sheriffs feel giving a concealed handgun permit to medical marijuana users violates a federal law barring gun ownership to drug addicts. But Oregon courts have twice ruled that this is one situation where federal law does not trump state law. Sheriffs have appealed and the case is pending in the Oregon Supreme Court.



Cynthia Willis shows off her Walther P-22 pistol March 25, 2011 at a firing range in White City, Ore. Willis is suing the Jackson County sheriff to get her concealed handgun permit back after being denied for having a medical marijuana card. The Oregon Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer.



Cynthia Willis stands March 25, 2011 in front of Medical Marijuana Patient Services in Medford, Ore., where she volunteers. Willis sued the Jackson County sheriff to get her concealed handgun license back after being denied for holding a medical marijuana card. She has won twice in court and is waiting for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule. Oregon is one of 16 states that allow medical use of marijuana. This cases appears to be the first to sort out whether medical marijuana users can have guns.



Cynthia Willis shoots her pistol on a firing range March 25, 2011 in White City, Ore. Willis is suing the Jackson County sheriff over denial of a concealed handgun permit after she acknowledged having a medical marijuana card. So far, she has won twice in court, and is waiting for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule. Willis contends that using marijuana for medicine is no different than using any other prescribed drug, and should not preclude her carrying a concealed handgun for personal protection.

text size A A A WHITE CITY, Ore. April 4, 2011, 05:09 am ET Cynthia Willis calls up and down the firing range to be sure everyone knows she is shooting, squares up in a two-handed stance with her Walther P-22 automatic pistol and fires off a clip in rapid succession.



Willis is not only packing a concealed handgun permit in her wallet, she also has a medical marijuana card. That combination has led the local sheriff to try to take her gun permit away.



She is part of what is considered the first major court case in the country to consider whether guns and marijuana can legally mix. The sheriffs of Washington and Jackson counties say no. But Willis and three co-plaintiffs have won in state court twice, with the state's rights to regulate concealed weapons trumping federal gun control law in each decision.



With briefs filed and arguments made, they are now waiting for the Oregon Supreme Court to rule.



When it's over, the diminutive 54-year-old plans to still be eating marijuana cookies to deal with her arthritis pain and muscle spasms, and carrying her pistol.



"Under the medical marijuana law, I am supposed to be treated as any other citizen in this state," she said. "If people don't stand up for their little rights, all their big rights will be gone."



A retired school bus driver, Willis volunteers at a Medford smoke shop that helps medical marijuana patients find growers, and teaches how to get the most medical benefit out of the pound-and-a-half of pot that card carriers are allowed to possess. She believes that her marijuana oils, cookies and joints should be treated no differently than any other prescribed medicines. She said she doesn't use them when she plans to drive, or carry her gun.



"That's as stupid as mixing alcohol and weapons,"' she said.



Oregon sheriffs are not happy about the state's medical marijuana law.



"The whole medical marijuana issue is a concern to sheriffs across the country who are involved in it mainly because there is so much potential for abuse or for misuse and as a cover for organized criminal activity," said Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon, who became part of the Willis case because his office turned down three medical marijuana patients in the Portland suburbs for concealed handgun permits. "You can't argue that people aren't misusing that statute in Oregon.



"Not everybody, of course. Some have real medical reasons. But ...the larger group happens be people who are very clearly abusing it."



The sheriffs argue that the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act prohibits selling firearms to drug addicts, and they say that includes medical marijuana card holders. Their briefs state that they cannot give a permit to carry a gun to someone prohibited from buying or owning a gun.



But the cardholders have won so far arguing this is one situation where federal law does not trump state law, because the concealed handgun license just gives a person a legal defense if they are arrested, not a right.



Oregon's attorney general has sided with the marijuana cardholders, arguing that the concealed handgun license cannot be used to buy a gun, so sheriffs who issue one to a marijuana card holder are not in violation of the federal law.



Willis' lawyer, Leland Berger, says it is much simpler.



The sheriffs "are opposed to the medical marijuana act," Berger said from Portland. "It's not based on reason. That's how they are."



Rural southern Oregon is awash with marijuana — legal and illegal. Arrests for illegal plantations are commonplace. The region's six counties also have the highest rate of medical marijuana use in the state. There are also a lot of guns in the Rogue Valley, where Willis lives.



Sixteen states now have medical marijuana laws, according to NORML, an advocacy group. There is no way to determine how many medical marijuana cardholders also have gun permits. Patient lists are confidential, and an Oregon court ruled the sheriffs can't look at them.



NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre said Oregon courts have not been entirely medical marijuana friendly. While they have upheld the right to pack a pistol, they have also ruled that employers can fire people who use medical marijuana.



"A person who uses medical cannabis should not have to give up their fundamental rights as enumerated by the Constitution,"' St. Pierre said.



Gordon said he expects the gun issue to come up in other states with medical marijuana laws.



Oregon was the first state in the country to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with legislation enacted in 1973. And it was right behind California in making medical marijuana legal when voters approved a ballot measure in 1998. But voters here stopped short of following California all the way to selling medical marijuana to cardholders at dispensaries. A ballot measure failed last year, so patients still have to grow their own or get someone else to grow it for them at cost, with no profit margin.





Oregon is one of 37 states where the sheriff has to give a concealed handgun permit to anyone meeting the list of criteria, though they have some discretion to say what those criteria are. They generally require people to be 21, a U.S. citizen, pass a gun safety course, and have no criminal record or history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or domestic violence.



The issue doesn't really come up in California, where concealed handgun licenses are much harder to get.



If Willis loses, she plans to carry her pistol out in the open, in a holster on her hip, which is, under Oregon law, perfectly legal.



"I've been done harm in my life and it won't ever happen again,"' she said about her reasons for wanting the gun. "I've never had to draw it"'



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Attorney Michael Komorn’ practice specializes in Medical Marihuana representation. He is a board member with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group with over 20,000 members, which advocates for medical marihuana patients, and caregiver rights. He is also an experienced defense attorney successfully representing many wrongfully accused medical marihuana patients and caregivers. He is also the founder of Greentrees of Detroit, a medical marihuana community center that offers patient certification, legal consultation, cannabis education, business development, and caregiver’s classes.













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#2 hofner67

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:34 PM

Funny...I'd just spoken with some Ohio Norml guys at the Bash and they thought the guns rights and medical marijuana people had a lot in common. they've been to some gun events as an organization and have been well received.

Same sort of "gotcha" laws and infringement on rights.

#3 trix

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:45 PM

This is the part of our Michigan Medical Marijuana Act that hurts anyone that is in possession of a marijuana plant, LEO, and Government still say its illegal to manufacture marijuana and possess a firearm LEGALLY REGISTERED at that. I know people fight me daily when I tell them its not legal to grow and have a gun, but its true people.

"The sheriffs argue that the 1968 U.S. Gun Control Act prohibits selling firearms to drug addicts, and they say that includes medical marijuana card holders. Their briefs state that they cannot give a permit to carry a gun to someone prohibited from buying or owning a gun."

Were all drug addicts, pot head's, and stoner's, that cant handle a firearm protect ourselves because were "high" all the time. what a freaking joke just leave us alone already please go prevent a child from being molested or how about preventing a drunk driver from being a 3rd and 4th time offender.

To me this law is a joke, but yet I follow it cause its the law, take a hint LEO.. leave us MM PT/CG's alone ..

Trix :bong2:

#4 Croppled1

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:32 PM

Our National Congress can ammend Federal Policy to address State Rights on Gun Control Nationawide but not medical cannabis cards ? Carry a gun to Disneyworld no problem soon . Carry a medical cannabis flower and or medables weighing over 20 grams and spend a minimum of $10,000 in legal fee's , court costs up to 5 years in Florida State Prison and up to a $5000 fine if you run into a officer , and prosecutor willing to pursue it All the DEA needs to do is reclassify Cannabis at the Federal level as having medical use which everyone knows is true . Then patients can own guns and whatever direction medical use is going to progress can keep happening . Presidents have opennly admitted to cannabis use and they are trusted with our nuclear weapons afterward the hypocrisy knows no bounds . I also wish to point out Federal Firearm Law reads addiction to controled substances not dependance too . There is a huge difference in reality but the two terms are often wrongly used interchangeabley when people seek to profit off patients whom do not share their medical veiws . The official NRA position is silent on medical cannabis as of now . I would tell the NRA I am not addicted to cannabis but I sure depend on it for relief . Where does our AG put this with the State rights arguement were all in a uproar about .

House Overwhelmingly Passes National Right-to-Carry Gun Bill
<H3></H3>


Nov 16, 2011

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an important self-defense measure that would enable millions of Right-to-Carry permit holders across the country to carry concealed firearms while traveling outside their home states. H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, passed by a majority bipartisan vote of 272 to 154. All amendments aimed to weaken or damage the integrity of this bill were defeated.

“NRA has made the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act a priority because it enhances the fundamental right to self-defense guaranteed to all law-abiding people,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “People are not immune from crime when they cross state lines. That is why it is vital for them to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones should the need arise.”

H.R. 822, introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), allows any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes.

This bill does not affect existing state laws. State laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders. H.R. 822 does not create a federal licensing system or impose federal standards on state permits; rather, it requires the states to recognize each others' carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.

As of today, 49 states have laws in place that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some form. Only Illinois and the District of Columbia deny its residents the right to carry concealed firearms outside their homes or businesses for self-defense.

“We are grateful for the support of Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Majority Whip McCarthy, Judiciary Chairman Smith and primary sponsors Congressmen Stearns and Shuler for their steadfast support of H.R. 822. Thanks to the persistence of millions of American gun owners and NRA members, Congress has moved one step closer to improving crucial self-defense laws in this country,” concluded Cox.


http://www.opposingv...-carry-gun-bill

http://norml.org/law...orida-penalties

When I look at the Florida law I wonder why a transaction within 1000 ft of a school ,park , college or other area deserves 15 years but one at a distance of 1010 feet doesn't and why ? This is law based in frustration , fear , anger , and discrimination pure and simple which is often abused . Hopefullly soon responsable messages that make allowance for dignified medical use something never recognized before will exist when cannabis is resecheduled properly Nationwide .

Edited by Croppled1, 18 November 2011 - 09:14 AM.


#5 whacked

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:46 PM

this is hunting season in Michigan, we cannot legally hunt from what I have heard. How many millions of dollars are not being spent up north this week and instead people are booking golf outings in S Carolina for the summer. This is pissin away tourist dollars

#6 Medcnman

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:45 AM

this is hunting season in Michigan, we cannot legally hunt from what I have heard. How many millions of dollars are not being spent up north this week and instead people are booking golf outings in S Carolina for the summer. This is pissin away tourist dollars

Ask Blueberry about this one. He has a good answer pertaining to your statement. I dont remember it verbatum so I dont want to post incorrect info for you. But he has a good answer for your hunting concerns. Thanks, Medcnman.

#7 DLD420

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:50 AM

I had to appear before the Branch County Weapons Board yesterday 11/17/11, my application for a CL was tabled last month because there was evidence that I was a MM card holder here in Michigan. They denied me the card yesterday and said because the US AG had agreed with the ATF letter, I can not own a gun and have a MM card, they chuckled when I asked what was to happen to the 50K MM card holders (not sure of number but must be 1/2 of us) here in Michigan that hunted or owned guns. Not sure if I can afford to fight this thru the court system or not my last experience cost almost 10K.

#8 Pain

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:19 AM

I say outta my cold dead fingers. i fought for this country, and ain't no body gonna take my guns away.

#9 Pain

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

Another stupid law.... While i was out the past few days rifle hunting (Got a spikehorn). Do you think if i was confronted by the DNR. i would admit to being a mmj patient. Dooh

#10 puffaway

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:07 AM

The state law says possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony gets you mandatory jail time. It does'nt matter that your gun is legally registered and in the dresser drawer. That means if you get busted for growing in your home and there is a gun in the home you will do felony time. It sure makes you think twice about growing more than one friggin plant does'nt it? Two will get you over 2.5oz on hand.

#11 Medcnman

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:05 AM

The state law says possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony gets you mandatory jail time. It does'nt matter that your gun is legally registered and in the dresser drawer. That means if you get busted for growing in your home and there is a gun in the home you will do felony time. It sure makes you think twice about growing more than one friggin plant does'nt it? Two will get you over 2.5oz on hand.

Keep an eye out in the "Legal Professionals" section on my thread titled "Pro-Bono needed in Oakland County" this scenario will begin playimg out next Thursday, December 22nd 2011. My friends were busted and they had guns in the house. There was a 30-06, a 12 guage, a .410, 2 muzzle loaders and 7 bows. The police took the rifle and 2 shotguns. They left all 7 bows and both muzzle loaders. My friends were over in plant count by 2 and hadnt sent their paperwork in yet but they were certified by a doctor to use MM. They are both facing 4 year felonies for possession, manufacturing and distributing (first grow so they hadnt had an opportunity to distribute. Its just a part of the charge) right now they are out on $50k personal bond. They have been ordered to participate in random pre trial drug screening and have been denied the use of MM. We will see how this plays out in court over the next few months and I will update the original thread as things happen. Thanks! Medcnman.

#12 Croppled1

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:07 AM

The state law says possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony gets you mandatory jail time. It does'nt matter that your gun is legally registered and in the dresser drawer. That means if you get busted for growing in your home and there is a gun in the home you will do felony time. It sure makes you think twice about growing more than one friggin plant does'nt it? Two will get you over 2.5oz on hand.



Wet material that has not been cured is not usable in any reasonable persons mind . Our law states usable cannabis . There has been at least one Michigan Court case that agreed with this . Just having plants should not take one over limits though weight limits were very abused by prohibitionists and law enforcement in states with medical cannabis laws previous to Michigan's . A few court districts in Ca just stopped enforcing them the courts were so clogged up and they now only enforce plant counts . I do not know much detail and would not count on it that is another State where laws are different county by county . This is the definition of usable marihuana - it must be cured or dried . Plants or fresh picked material would not apply . It is very scary to other patients to imply it would . We have to brace each other in these difficult times .

(j) "Usable marihuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.

I would suggest until the material is completely cured or dried it would not be considered usable and no reasonable person without discrimination in their hearts would believe it was after reading the definition . This allows one to adjust their grow or amounts on hand to stay in compliance . Otherwise it would be impossible and up to nature . This is why some areas in our Nation just threw weight limits out after hearing arguements over and over costing local governments millions and millions of dollars with no real benefit ..

The main point is we are patients and fighting difficult health siituations that are cruel . No decent people in enforcement would argue small details or arrest others on them after honest reflection . In cases where it happens jury nulification may be the only tool to rectify the situation that can help patients . There are no guarantees in court the key is trying to avoid it . IT isn't always possible when some people see us as a threat to society sadly .

Edited by Croppled1, 17 December 2011 - 08:30 AM.


#13 Medcnman

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:23 AM

Wet material that has not been cured is not usable in any reasonable persons mind . Our law states usable cannabis . There has been at least one Michigan Court case that agreed with this . Just having plants should not take one over limits though weight limits were very abused by prohibitionists and law enforcement in states with medical cannabis laws previous to Michigan's . A few court districts in Ca just stopped enforcing them the courts were so clogged up and they now only enforce plant counts . I do not know much detail and would not count on it that is another State where laws are different county by county . This is the definition of usable marihuana - it must be cured or dried . Plants or fresh picked material would not apply . It is very scary to other patients to imply it would . We have to brace each other in these difficult times .

(j) "Usable marihuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.

I would suggest until the material is completely cured or dried it would not be considered usable and no reasonable person without discrimination in their hearts would believe it was . .

The main point is were patients and fighting difficult health siituations that are cruel . No decent people would argue small details or arrest others on them after reflection .

I will be curious as to what LEO comes up with for "weight" in my friends case. They had less than a half ounce of dry "useable" meds in the house. The plants they had were only 12 inches tall and only 5-7 were in flush. Maybe 1/8-1/4 ounce per plant cured. they did not count the clones because there were no visible roots. They just pulled them out of the rockwool and threw them on his washing machine. Medcnman.

#14 cristinew

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:38 AM

were the guns locked in a case? or where they in the open? near the cannabis plants>

#15 Medcnman

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:53 AM

were the guns locked in a case? or where they in the open? near the cannabis plants>

The guns were in a locked glass gun cabinet and were not in the same room as the grow. They were in the room just outside the grow. It puzzles me why they took the 2 shotguns and the rifle and left the 2 muzzleloaders. Maybe they thought they had no value. Medcnman.

#16 cristinew

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:10 AM

2 muzzleloaders are not fire arms if they dont have a fireing pin, I think if the guns were in a case they may be able to get them back, a friend of mine was growing with out a card, they took the guns then returned them with the help of his att. they were in the case and they were not used to support the felony crime,




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