A huge issue around legal recreational & medical cannabis is the fact that card holders can be barred from gun ownership. Recently, a court found one of the laws unconstitutional, but Marijuana Moment shares that the Justice Department believes a lower court’s ruling in a marijuana and gun rights case was “incorrectly decided”:
In a one-page brief filed on Friday, the federal government notified judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that the separate U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently deemed the law barring cannabis consumers from buying or possessing firearms to be unconstitutional.
The federal firearms ban for cannabis consumers has been challenged in a number of courts. While the Fifth Circuit is the most powerful court to declare the prohibition unconstitutional, two federal district courts have similarly reached that conclusion as well.
The core argument at play is based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that says any firearm restrictions must be consistent with the historical context of the Second Amendment’s original 1791 ratification.
In its decision last week, the Fifth Circuit said that the government failed to effectively argue that the ban has a meaningful historic analogue, dismissing its position that gun restrictions imposed in the late 18th and early 19th century on mentally ill, “dangerous” and actively intoxicated individuals meet the high standard set by the Supreme Court action.
For now, the Fifth Circuit decision renders the ban unlawful in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Eleventh Circuit, meanwhile, has jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida and Georgia. If that latter court ultimately upholds the constitutionality of the ban, that would set the stage for the Supreme Court to intervene amid conflicting circuit holdings.
photo credit Cannabis Bullseye by David Gabrić