Oregon's 32,929 medical marijuana users can't be denied concealed handgun licenses, despite the efforts of at least two sheriffs who want to keep concealed weapons out of those hands.
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled this week that Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters were mistaken in their interpretation of the federal Gun Control Act. The act states that "an unlawful user ... of any controlled substance" can't own a gun, and the sheriffs contended the federal act trumps Oregon's medical marijuana law. Though federal law prohibits marijuana, Oregon's 12-year-old law legalizes pot possession for patients with qualifying ailments and a doctor's approval.
I'm a big supporter of medical marijuana, but I find it completely insane that the patients who use the drug should be allowed to own guns, let alone have concealed carry permits. The ones who just like to get high and have a doctor who'll write the script for them, should not have guns. These folks generally do not possess the serious and responsible character required for proper gun management.
The ones who truly need the pain or nausea relief brought about by using pot, should also be disqualified. They're not in shape physically to responsibly handle guns.
Leland Berger, who represented four medical marijuana users who were denied concealed handgun licenses, was relieved by the Court of Appeals decision. He sees the sheriffs' denial of licenses as discrimination against patients who use cannabis to treat debilitating health problems -- including cancer, glaucoma, seizures, nausea and severe pain.
I don't believe that's discrimination. To me it sounds like good common sense. When a person becomes so ill that they need marijuana, or a number of other medications for that matter, it's time for them to give up the guns.
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