Justin Kalin
Pipe Dream
December 13, 2011

On Sept. 21, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded to confusion in the federal firearms licensing community about whether medical marijuana patients can apply for gun ownership.

Its letter refers to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. An unlawful user or addict to controlled substances is prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition. Furthermore, presenting a medical marijuana card is “reasonable cause to believe” that the transferee is an unlawful user or addict.

According to Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, one court held the definition of unlawful use to mean constant use over an extended period of time. The possession of a medical marijuana card alone does not legally fulfill this definition.

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