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How does the Colorado marijuana laws affect gun owners?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Sambo82, Jan 1, 2014.

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  1. Sambo82

    Sambo82 Member

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    I thought that I should preface this by stating that I'm neither a marijuana user nor a resident of Colorado, so I'm asking more out of curiosity than anything.

    These laws open up so many questions for gunowners, both in Colorado and elsewhere. On the surface there are questions about the legality of "legal" pot consumption and the 4473 questions, specifically 11(e), which asks if someone is an unlawful user of marrijuana. Well, if the their State has legalized it, and while it maintains a de jure status of illegal at the federal level, and yet seems like the Federal Government is letting it slide, is it untruthful to mark 11(e) as no?

    Also, being that there are substantial intricies in drug law and firearm law in the United States (such as U.S. vs. Stewert following the ruling of Gonzales vs. Raich), could this precident be a State answer to federal gun control? The Firearm Freedom Acts of several respective States have had their share of ridicule as being toothless and destined to fail, but here is an example of a successful implementation of a similar idea, with apparently favorable results. Is there a key difference that would make the Colorado marijuana laws successful while the Firearms Freedom Act laws fail? It is speculated that the Colorado's government involvement "from seed to sale" gives an air of legimitacy and protection to the new industry, so if a State theoretically did the same for NFA items, and regulated their manufacture and sale, is there a reason why the outcome be any different than with Colorado's marijuana laws?

    Also on an individual level; If a person was arrested for, as an example, manufacturing an SBR and claimed it was legal under their State's Firearms Freedom Act, could the fact that the Federal Government is refusing to enforce Federal drug laws be used in court? I doubt it could, but it seems extrodinarily unfair and arbitrary that the Federal Government can simply choose to throw firearm owners in jail but not drug users. So I guess my question is, if there's a legal explanation or argument for why marijuana users are protected in Colorado from Federal prosecution, what is it and could gun owners use the same argument under the Firearms Freedom Acts?
     
  2. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Member

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    I would imagine that the laws would be very similar to how gun ownership is affected by possession/use of alcohol?? Though the stickiness seems to come in with regard to alcohol being regulated federally and marijuana is not (yet).
     
  3. Sambo82

    Sambo82 Member

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    I'm a little lost by your post. Marijuana is regulated and prosecuted at the Federal level, and has been prosecuted before despite legalization at the State level (see Gonzales vs. Raich).
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    We just had a very exhaustive thread on this subject.

    Dope smokers and the 4473.

    Long and short of it is, pot is illegal federally, period. You cannot be a LAWFUL user of marijuana at all, ever, in any way, under federal law. Whether your state has its own laws about pot doesn't matter, as you're breaking FEDERAL law, so you can't answer the 4473 form question 11(e) in the negative.

    If you read through that thread and have any further questions, please direct them to the Moderator who closed that thread to see if they should be included and the thread re-opened.
     
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Or contact me since I have done considerable research on the question.



    And the answer really is as simple and straight forward as Sam outlined:



    1. A marijuana user in Washington State or Colorado (or in any other State) remains an unlawful user of a controlled substance for the purposes of federal gun laws, even if the marijuana use is legal under state law.




    2. He would have to answer "yes" to question 11e on the 4473.




    3. His acquisition or possession of a gun or ammunition would violate 18 USC 922(g)(3) and be a federal felony.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
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