Mary Jane Cartoon

An old federal law is proving to be difficult and is negating the rights the second amendment provides by wrongfully targeting people who choose to use medical marijuana despite if its legal within the state.

With the fast spread of marijuana legalization in America, federal law has come into the limelight concerning whether or not people possessing a medical marijuana card will be able to own a gun as well.

While medical marijuana can be beneficial, some people are concerned about medical issues and the fact that medical marijuana alters people’s state of mind since it is still a drug.

Heavy users have reported short-term problems with attention, memory and learning according to the CDA; “heavy users” being the keywords. The effects are more minimal if doctors prescribe safe amounts and patients do not use more than necessary.

There is also concern about people’s lack of knowledge about gun safety. Some believe using marijuana, whether medical or not, could lead to unnecessarily dangerous situations.

Knowing statistics on gun violence would help educate people on gun safety. The most recent efforts to allow the CDC to conduct research on gun violence in March 2018 did not end up with any funding, according to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute.

The same can be said for education on the effects of marijuana, especially looking at negative side effects and reasons people would want to use marijuana.

According to Statistica, the most common reason people consumed marijuana for adults in January 2017 was for relaxation purposes. People also used it to reduce stress and anxiety as well as improve sleep quality.

Mixing marijuana and guns could be a lethal combination, but we also should not neglect the rights of those people who are using it for medical reasons.

Even with these valid concerns, the right to bear arms is being pushed to the side.

People can use other “controlled substances” that affect a person’s state of mind like alcohol or taking other prescription drugs like Xanax and not lose their gun rights. But if they opt for medical marijuana, they immediately lose those rights.

This means the only people directly affected are those looking to use marijuana legally in prescribed portions and those who are breaking the law.

The letter addressing the issue by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seems outdated as well, seeing how so much has changed since 2011.

Before 2011, there were around 16 states and counting who had legalized marijuana, according to Yahoo! Finance. Only about 32 percent of the states, while now we have more than half the states legalizing marijuana for medical uses.

The number of people affected by this old federal law should definitely be considered, especially since a lot has happened in the past eight years.

Overall, federal law should be reevaluated for the changing times and should not target specific people.

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