Pennsylvania Bill Would Let Medical Cannabis Patients Own & Possess Firearms

Medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania could soon enjoy the state-sanctioned right to own and possess firearms, per a proposal by Republican state Sen. Dan Laughlin. Federal law, however, still prohibits people who consume cannabis from possessing firearms.

Full story after the jump.

A bill proposed in Pennsylvania would clarify that the state’s Uniform Firearm Act does not consider patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program as “unlawful users,” The Center Square reports. The bill, proposed by Republican state Sen. Dan Laughlin, is meant to clarify the state’s rules around firearm possession and medical cannabis use.  

Under federal law, medical cannabis patients are technically not allowed to purchase or possess firearms.   

“I can’t change federal law, but this is an attempt partly to raise awareness of the issue. A lot of medical marijuana card folks aren’t even aware of the infringement on their Second Amendment rights. … We’re in this gray area right now. It’s almost like we’re in this ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ period of time.” — Laughlin to The Center Square 

Laughlin added that if firearm owners had to give up their guns if they were prescribed a “run-of-the-mill antidepressant” it’s likely they would stop taking the medication to protect their Second Amendment rights. 

“That seems counterproductive to me,” Laughlin told The Center Square. “We’re in kind of a bad situation right now and I’m just trying to make it better.” 

He also noted that many veterans are enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program for post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“They’ve all universally told me that cannabis helps them a lot in that space,” he said. “I know it needs to be studied; but if it works for them … then what’s the harm?” 

The proposal is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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