The Oregon Supreme Court ruled today that qualified medical marijuana card holders can also apply for and receive a concealed-carry license. The case goes back to a retired bus driver in Grants Pass, who made the mistake of admitting that she was a cardholder in the state-run medical marijuana program when she went to renew her concealed carry license. Officials branded her as a drug addict and said that her medical treatment program barred her from the right to carry a concealed weapon under federal law. But the Supreme Court of Oregon reminded cleared things up for them.
The ruling issued in Salem, Ore., upheld previous decisions by the Oregon Court of Appeals and circuit court in finding that a federal law barring criminals and drug addicts from buying firearms does not excuse sheriffs from issuing concealed weapons permits to people who hold medical marijuana cards and otherwise qualify.
“We hold that the Federal Gun Control Act does not pre-empt the state’s concealed handgun licensing statute and, therefore, the sheriffs must issue (or renew) the requested licenses,” Chief Justice Paul De Muniz wrote.
In other words: states’ rights, bitches. Labeling law-abiding medical patients as dangerous criminals because their treatment is “wrong” in the eyes of authoritarian lawmakers is not only petty and childish, but also downright dangerous when real criminals come into the picture.
The more innocent people get caught up in the prohibition mentality, the more ambiguous the justification for these laws becomes. If the goal is merely to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders (who are less likely to follow concealed carry laws anyway), it’d be difficult to find anyone less violent than a stoned medical marijuana patient. Oregon has nearly 40,000 registered marijuana patients, who don’t fit the Cheech and Chong paradigm, and have had their medicine prescribed for any number of reasons. Their rights, as well as the rights of the states to make their own policy on guns, drugs, etc., should trump federal meddling of how things “ought” to be.