Minnesota Republican state Rep. Rod Hamilton is proposing a bill to reclassify medical cannabis in the state as a Schedule 2 drug in an effort to allow patients to legally keep their firearms under federal law, KSTP 5 reports.
Under federal law, medical cannabis patients lose their rights to own and possess firearms as cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Federal background check forms for firearms include a question about cannabis use and officials are able to search state databases to determine whether someone seeking to buy a firearm is also a registered patient in a medical cannabis program.
Hamilton, who has multiple sclerosis and is registered with the state’s medical cannabis program, said he has been unable to renew his permit to carry a gun or legally use a firearm to hunt due to federal law.
“We need to do this, along with other states like Oklahoma, to get the attention of Congress in Washington, D.C. It needs to change at the federal level and here so people can legally get their gun permits renewed and so they can hunt with family and friends and not be in violation of the law. No one in the medical cannabis program wants to be in violation of the law.” – Hamilton to KSTP
According to the report, there are some 43,000 registered patients in Minnesota.
During his push last year to implement the reforms, which were stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hamilton shared a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that said, “there are no exceptions in Federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law.”
Hamilton has not yet introduced a bill for this session; however, last year’s measure included six Republican co-sponsors.
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