lawmaker seeks gun rights for legal marijuana users
A North Las Vegas Democrat has introduced a bill in the Nevada Senate that would allow medical marijuana users to possess a firearm and obtain a carry permit.
As part of a bevy of legislation in the state Senate addressing medical marijuana reform introduced this session, one measure would help to preserve the gun rights of those with a cannabis card.
Sponsored by state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, his bill would update Nevada law with the respect that the holder of a valid medical marijuana registry card would not be deemed to be an “unlawful user of, or addicted to,” a controlled substance solely based on having a card. Current state law bars firearm possession by those so classified and requires a sheriff to automatically deny applications for concealed carry permits to the more than 15,000 residents with a registered medical marijuana card. Under Atkinson’s proposal, this would change.
It remains to be seen if Atkinson’s proposal would trump federal law and policy in place banning guns for those who use legal marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Currently, at least 28 states and the District of Columbia have statutes to allow the legal use of cannabis for authorized patients while others have legalized cannabis-derived treatments. However, the ATF has long held that any sale or possession of firearms by those who use marijuana, even if allowed by state law, remains criminal.