Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide: Guns and Medical Marijuana
While Tennessee is inching closer to rolling out their medical marijuana program, one question that comes up for every state looking to legalize is about gun ownership, and if medical marijuana patients even have any gun rights at all. Although this will be Tennessee’s first time dealing with it, the issue has come up many times already and there are some clear, and some confusing conclusions.
In this Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide, we’ll clear up any confusions and cover everything you need to know about gun rights for qualifying medical marijuana patients.
Tennessee Medical Marijuana Patient Rights
Tennessee residents who qualify for medical marijuana under the upcoming state-approved program will undoubtedly have extra rights and legal immunities concerning their cannabis use and possession.
By obtaining a medical marijuana card you will be exempt from certain criteria that would otherwise be considered illegal without a certification from the state.
A cannabis possession charge quickly becomes lawful possession under approved conditions, and that enjoys some degree of immunity that expires immediately if you aren’t abiding by the law.
For example, as a medical marijuana patient it might be lawful for you to purchase and transport your low-THC cannabis oil from the dispensary to your home, but if you were to purchase cannabis illegally and get pulled over, you wouldn’t enjoy the same protection offered by the state.
And while these extra rights ensure you are operating within the boundaries of the law, sometimes there are contradictory laws that require further discussion about which laws to follow.
And that’s the case with firearms and cannabis in the United States.
Firearms and Medical Marijuana in Tennessee
Despite what you might have heard, purchasing a firearm as a medical marijuana patient isn’t a straightforward process.
The main issue with gun ownership for medical marijuana patients isn’t usually with the state though, it’s with the federal government.
And that holds true for every medical marijuana patient, not just those who will obtain their cards in Tennessee.
But while the feds aren’t happy about firearms and medical marijuana, some states are even trying to ensure gun rights in direct opposition to the federal government, so let’s unpack some details about marijuana, firearms, and the feds first.
The Feds on Marijuana
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the agency largely responsible for how the federal government looks at drugs and illegal drug use.
They offer a drug scheduling list that categorizes drugs into different types and defines them by their supposed severity.
They are typically put categories such as:
· Drugs that have medical benefits
· Drugs that can be prescribed but not purchased over the counter
· Drugs that have no medical use
· Drugs that have high potentials for abuse and are medically unsafe, among other definitions and categories.
Marijuana is considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which means the DEA claims it has no medical benefit, a high potential for abuse, and is medically unsafe.
In this category, alongside marijuana you’ll find LSD, heroin, and even bath salts, a drug that causes psychosis and even drove a Florida man to stab and eat the face of another person.
As you would imagine, the federal government does not believe in the “medical” aspect of marijuana at all, even though a branch of the federal
The ATF & Firearms for Medical Marijuana Patients
Because the federal government doesn’t believe “medical” marijuana use is legal, when you purchase a firearm from a registered FFL dealer you will be asked on the ATF form 4473:
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
Which many might consider answering no to.
However, there is a clause right underneath this question that might make you think otherwise:
Warning: The use or possession of
marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been
legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state
where you reside.”
As you can see, any time you would be filling out this form as a medical marijuana patient, you would need to answer yes to this question, which would not permit you the sale of the firearm.
Private gun sales in Tennessee don’t require you to fill out form 4473, but they do fall under federal jurisdiction. And obviously, to legally purchase a firearm as far as the federal government is concerned, cannabis use isn’t permitted.
The State’s Opposing View - Favorable Medical Marijuana & Firearms Laws
Alternatively, Tennessee has opted for the exact opposite approach on cannabis as opposed to the feds, by implementing the first steps toward a medical marijuana program.
Tennessee will also consider medical marijuana use and possession legal under specific conditions once the program is up and running.
Tennessee has no state law explicitly banning medical marijuana patients from purchasing or possessing firearms.
And ultimately, it sounds like Tennessee is wanting to play a role in federally rescheduling cannabis, which could entirely change how the feds look at marijuana, and especially marijuana and firearms.
It’s our expectation that the state of Tennessee will implement laws and rules that favor the access of medical marijuana to chronically and terminally ill patients, and that will likely add an important degree of protection for medical marijuana patients.
Gun Rights for Tennessee Medical Marijuana Patients
And for other states, it’s pretty clear how this works:
If you are in possession of illegally obtained cannabis, often you can face jail time.
If you are in possession of legally obtained cannabis as a patient with a medical marijuana card, you are operating within the boundaries of the law.
If you have a firearm and illegal cannabis, it’s probably likely that you will face jail time.
If you have a firearm and legal cannabis with a medical marijuana card, it can be up to the officer, the state, and possibly the judge.
While you won’t have any protection from federal prosecution, often (as is the case with TN) when there are no state laws being broken and there is an unwillingness by the state or officer to enforce archaic or conflicting laws, there’s no criminal charges.
And although that might be true some of the time, it’s not true all of the time and could vary wildly based on the circumstances, jurisdiction, and disposition of the parties involved.
With a medical marijuana card your rights as a patient are increased against prosecution for legally obtained cannabis because the state permits patients with qualifying
conditions to use approved medical marijuana products.
And even though all medical marijuana patients are subject to the contradictory federal stance on firearms and marijuana, medical marijuana patients do own guns.
Considering that there are an estimated 2.1 million medical marijuana patients in the United States, and over 44% of Americans report living in a household with a gun, it’s safe to say there are likely medical marijuana patients who own guns.
Protecting your rights as a firearm owner who uses medical marijuana is important, and one of the best ways you can do that is by ensuring that you are doing everything in your power to operate within the boundaries of Tennessee law.
By having a current Tennessee medical marijuana card, you will be acting within the approved conditions set forth by the state, allowing you to legally use and possess medical cannabis products.
Medical Cannabis in Tennessee
Tennessee cannabis patients will soon be able to legally purchase low-THC oil and see the relief they need organically.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Being a Tennessee cannabis patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at (833) 781-5611 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical cannabis card in Tennessee.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Tennessee Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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