Medical marijuana users can’t legally own guns, federal officials say

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Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved State Question 788 to legalize medical marijuana. However, federal officials warn that anyone with a medical marijuana card is prohibited from owning firearms.

According to an open letter released in 2011 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, known as the ATF, federal law prohibits anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.

The open letter states that marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance in the Controlled Substances Act, and there are no exceptions for marijuana used for medicinal purposes, even if it has been legalized by state law.

KOCO 5 checked with officials with the ATF on Thursday, and they confirmed the standards stated in the letter still stand today.

“Federal law makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to anyone knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance,” the open letter stated.

The letter further states that anyone who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether their state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

Federal officials said the possession of a medical marijuana card is a reasonable cause to consider the card owner to be an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Read the full open letter here.

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