- Hammond Lewis
Georgia Medical Marijuana & Gun Ownership – Can I Buy Guns if I have a Medical Marijuana Card in GA?
Georgia is slowly pushing forward with the upcoming arrival of dispensaries, and the state is expecting a flood of new patients registering for medical marijuana cards. When the state starts processing applications, many registering patients will be wondering about the legality of firearm ownership for qualifying medical marijuana patients.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about firearms & medical marijuana for Georgians.
Gun Ownership – Confusing Rights & Responsibilities
One of the most important (and lately, controversial) parts of our Constitution is a clause in the Second Amendment;
“…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Americans are fairly divided on what the amendment really means, and legislators across different branches of Government share similar opposing views on the subject.
In fact, Americans might be more divided on guns than they are about cannabis altogether. While the Nation is split right down the middle on gun ownership, over 90% of Americans currently believe in some form of legal marijuana use in the United States.
Although partisan policy issues like these might make it seem like the country is always arguing from the media’s point of view, what it actually means is that a large portion of medical and recreational marijuana users are likely also gun owners.
And while the subject of gun ownership and marijuana is typically a one sided conversation, there are some things to know that might surprise you about cannabis and gun ownership, and it’s not all bad, it’s just a little tricky.
While Georgia might say it’s perfectly fine to purchase a handgun with any magazine capacity, New York says you get no more than 10 rounds per magazine.
In Texas you can carry a firearm on your person, concealed or out in the open, and go about your business just fine.
If you do the same thing in Chicago or Miami, you could face weapons charges.
Despite the fact that states differ severely between their interpretation of gun laws, the Federal government strays even further from reality with its assessment and prosecution of gun laws, and especially with medical marijuana.
The Federal Government’s View on “Medical” Marijuana
Although there is extraordinary variance state by state, the feds put an extra nail in the coffin for medical marijuana.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) holds a drug scheduling list for the federal government that categorizes drugs into different types.
The list includes different sections for drugs that have medical benefits, drugs that can be prescribed but not purchased over the counter, drugs that have no medical use, as well as drugs that have high potentials for abuse and are medically unsafe, among other definitions and categories.
Even though a branch of the federal government owns a U.S patent for medical marijuana, and the Capital of the United States of America, Washington D.C, sells recreational and medical marijuana, the federal government still considers cannabis use and possession a heinous felony.
Marijuana is considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance according to the DEA, the institution that the feds trust to provide accurate information on drugs and influence policies and policing.
Schedule I drugs are reserved for the especially dangerous variety, they are considered to have a high potential for abuse, no medical benefits, and are unsafe for human consumption.
The DEA’s Schedule I list includes LSD, heroin, and bath salts.
Our federal government believes marijuana (incl. medical) is as dangerous of a drug as one that causes psychosis, and even drove a Florida man to stab and eat the face of another human.
It’s no surprise then, how the federal government treats medical marijuana.
They don’t believe in it.
As far as the feds are concerned, “medical” marijuana is a fantasy, regardless of the overwhelming medical applications it is used in, for them, cannabis users deserve criminal punishment and incarceration for consuming what they believe is a sinister threat to society.
Gun Ownership for Georgia Medical Marijuana Patients
Can you legally buy a gun in Georgia as a medical marijuana patient?
In fact, you can’t legally purchase a firearm as a medical marijuana patient anywhere in the United States of America, at least as far as the federal government is concerned.
But many medical marijuana patients likely do purchase firearms or own them already. And one recent bill proposal from Congressman Don Young R-AK even aims to specifically protect medical marijuana patient rights to gun ownership.
When you purchase a firearm from a registered Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder such as a gun shop or retail store, right before you can pay and take possession of your gun you’ll be presented with the ATF form 4473.
The Alcohol Tobacco & Firearm’s (ATF) form 4473 is the 6-page application that every person buying a registered firearm from an FFL dealer fills out.
It’s a relatively straightforward application that is usually accompanied with a phone call from the dealer to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which is maintained by the FBI, that confirms your eligibility to purchase a firearm.
After they verify your identity and confirm the information you entered, they will check for the existence of any criminal record and will tell the FFL dealer right there on the spot whether you can purchase the firearm, cannot purchase the firearm, or in some cases need to wait an allotted period before taking the firearm home.
All in all, the whole process takes about 10-15 minutes, and in truth the longest part is probably just making sure you fill out the application right the first time.
But an important question on the very first page of the application puts all this hanging in limbo:
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
Obviously for medical marijuana patients, this is a pretty targeted, and loaded question.
Although you don’t fill out this application or go through the NICS check with private sales in Georgia, you would still be possessing a firearm illegally as far as the feds would know.
How to Legally Buy Guns as a Georgia Marijuana Patient
The sad truth is that unfortunately, you can’t fully buy a gun legally as a medical marijuana patient until the feds change their contradictory laws.
Although Georgia doesn’t have any legislation specifically preventing the use of medical marijuana and gun ownership, the feds do.
And while you could legally own or purchase a firearm as far as the state of Georgia is concerned, until the feds change their conflicting laws on gun ownership and medical marijuana, it will remain illegal federally.
Archaic laws and policies like this are what has led some states like Missouri to try and make it as difficult as possible for the feds to muddy anything stateside, proposing a fine of around $50,000 to police officers who knowingly enforce something like federal gun laws.
There are other factors to take into consideration about medical marijuana and gun ownership outside of the legally confusing hemisphere.
The Truth About Medical Marijuana & Guns in Georgia
There are a couple of facts to take into consideration for cannabis users in Georgia.
If you have cannabis products without a medical marijuana card in Georgia, you could face jail time.
If you have cannabis products and a firearm without a medical marijuana card in Georgia, you’re possibly much more likely to face severe jail time.
If you have approved cannabis products with a medical marijuana card in Georgia, you will not face jail time.
And if you have cannabis oil with less than 5% THC, a gun, and a medical marijuana card, it’s probably going to come down to you, the officer, the state, and the court.
Courts require the compliance of the state, which requires the compliance of the officer, who obviously requires your compliance.
And while certain states refuse to comply with the federal government, certain officers often don’t enforce over-aggressive or conflicting laws, and it would certainly be very odd for a federal prosecutor to waste time taking on a medical marijuana & gun case, anything is possible.
Gun Rights for Georgia Medical Marijuana Patients
There is no requirement for Georgia to include access for any government or police agency to a marijuana patient registry, other than for criminal investigation with a warrant, and there is no state legislation that explicitly excludes medical marijuana patients from purchasing or possessing firearms.
And with a medical marijuana card, your rights as a patient are further increased against prosecution for legally obtained cannabis because the state permits patients with qualifying conditions to use approved medical marijuana products.
You won’t be pulled over and arrested by police for cannabis possession when you have a medical marijuana card and approved cannabis products, even though you are still breaking federal law just by having cannabis, medical or not.
And while all medical marijuana patients share the same problem of unintentionally violating a conflicting federal law if they purchase a firearm, there is no motivation for the state of Georgia to pursue this type of “crime”, as it does not seem to fit the description of any “crime” in Georgia state law, that’s federal jurisdiction and territory.
One of the best things you can do to protect your rights as a gun owner who uses medical marijuana is to ensure you are doing everything within the boundaries of Georgia law. This means making sure your firearms comply with state regulation and having a current Georgia medical marijuana card if you are going to possess medical cannabis.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
As a Georgia marijuana patient, you can legally purchase up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil. For Georgians, this means getting the relief you need naturally and organically, and Georgia Marijuana Card is here to help.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia