A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled last week that the federal law barring people who use cannabis from owning firearms is unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports. Lawyers for Jared Michael Harrison argued that his Second Amendment rights were violated by the federal law that outlaws “unlawful users or addicts of controlled substances” to possess firearms and U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick in Oklahoma City agreed, ruling that federal prosecutors’ arguments that Harrison’s cannabis use “justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm … is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison.”
In May 2020, Harrison was charged after being arrested by police in Lawton, Oklahoma following a traffic stop. During a search of his vehicle, police found a loaded revolver as well as cannabis. Harrison told police he had been on his way to work at a medical cannabis dispensary, but that he did not have a state-issued medical cannabis card.
Federal prosecutors argued that the portion of the law focused on drug use is “consistent with a longstanding historical tradition in America of disarming presumptively risky persons, namely, felons, the mentally ill, and the intoxicated.”
Wyrick disagreed, writing in his opinion that “the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports.” He added that using cannabis was “not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act,” according to a Reuters report.
Wyrick ultimately dismissed the charges against Harrison.
Laura Deskin, a public defender representing Harrison, told Reuters that the ruling was a “step in the right direction for a large number of Americans who deserve the right to bear arms and protect their homes just like any other American.”
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