Medical Marijuana and Guns Don’t Mix in Maryland
When Maryland legalized medical marijuana, individuals suffering from a variety of medical problems gained access to a drug that can provide relief to them without many of the problems posed by more addictive opioids. However, now the state government has informed Maryland residents that if you are legally using medical marijuana to treat a condition, you can no longer own a gun.
There have been efforts introduced to allow Maryland residents who are legally allowed to use medical marijuana to possess firearms, but to date it is still illegal. Currently, federal law bars federal firearm licensees from selling firearms to persons who utilize medical marijuana. Under the Federal Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3), it is unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)). As we all know, marijuana is still a Schedule I substance under federal law. Under this statute, a federal firearm licensee is barred from selling a firearm to a medical marijuana user. In fact, both federal form 4473 and state form 77R specifically state that medical marijuana users may not purchase firearms.
Now, Maryland’s medical marijuana patient information is confidential and protected by HIPAA regulations by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. However, the Maryland State Police inquire of every individual who attempts to purchase a firearm whether they are a medical marijuana user. If a person answers in the affirmative, they are barred from purchasing a gun. Individuals who provide false information or fail to identify that they are a medical marijuana user are in violation of federal statute, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
Given that all gun sellers are licensed at the federal level, unless and until Marijuana is descheduled, Maryland citizens must make a choice – medical marijuana or their guns.