Guns or marijuana? Firearm-owning pot fans face a choice – FOX31 Denver
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The federal government says grass and guns don’t mix, and that is putting gun owners who use marijuana — and the strongly pro-gun-rights administration of President Donald Trump — in a potentially uncomfortable position.
As gun-loving Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to operate a medical marijuana program, with the first dispensary on track to begin sales next month, authorities are warning patients that federal law bars marijuana users from having guns or ammunition.
“They’re going to have to make a choice,” said John T. Adams, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. “They can have their guns or their marijuana, but not both.”
That’s the official line, but the reality of how the policy might be enforced in Pennsylvania and other states is a little muddier.
That includes the question of whether people who already own guns might have to surrender them, instead of just being prohibited from making new purchases.
The political sensitivity was underscored Friday when Pennsylvania regulators reversed themselves and announced its registry of medical-pot patients will not be available, as was previously planned, through the state’s law enforcement computer network.
Phil Gruver, a professional auto detailer from Emmaus who received a state medical marijuana card in mid-December, is weighing what to do with his .22-caliber rifle and a handgun he keeps for home defense.
“It’s a violation of my Second Amendment rights,” Gruver said. “I don’t know of any time anyone’s been using marijuana and going out and committing acts of violence with a gun. Most of the time they just sit on their couch and eat pizza.”
State laws allowing medical or, more recently, recreational use of pot have long been at odds with the federal prohibition on gun ownership by those using marijuana.
But the government has traditionally taken a hands-off