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Federal Judge Declares Ban on Gun Possession by Marijuana Users Unconstitutional

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In a landmark ruling that has sparked intense debates and discussions in the legal community, a federal judge has declared the ban prohibiting people who use marijuana from possessing firearms unconstitutional. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed an indictment against a man who was charged with possessing marijuana and a handgun in his vehicle during a traffic stop in 2022.

The ruling was based on the defense’s argument that the statute banning “unlawful” cannabis users from possessing firearms violated the Constitution’s Second Amendment. This decision was primarily influenced by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which established a higher standard for policies that aim to impose restrictions on gun rights.

The Historical Context Of The Second Amendment

In his ruling, the judge emphasized that any restrictions on the right to bear arms must be consistent with the historical context of the Second Amendment’s original 1791 ratification. The judge concluded that the government’s argument, which relied on references to case law that prevented certain groups, such as Catholics, loyalists, slaves, and Indians, from having guns, “missed the mark” and “cannot provide the basis for a historical analogue.”

The judge also rejected the government’s argument that people who use marijuana are “both unvirtuous and dangerous.” The judge stated, “the mere use of marijuana does not involve violent, forceful, or threatening conduct,” and thus, a user of marijuana does not automatically fall within that group.

The Historical Context Of The Second Amendment

Similar Arguments In Florida-Based Case

This ruling comes as the ban continues to be challenged in a separate federal court in a lawsuit raised by former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) and several medical cannabis patients. The government has made similar arguments in the Florida-based case, where medical cannabis patients appealed a federal district court ruling that dismissed their suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) in November.

Constitutional And Public Safety Concerns

Advocates of the cause argue that the fight to end the federal ban on cannabis consumers is not just about expanding gun rights but rather a matter of constitutionality and public safety. Supporters of the Florida lawsuit have argued that the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (ATF) requirement effectively creates an incentive for cannabis consumers to either lie on the form, buy a gun on the illicit market, or simply forgo a constitutional right.

The recent ruling serves as a victory for those who believe the ban violates the Constitution and discriminates against a particular group based on their legal lifestyle choices. The Department of Justice is expected to appeal the recent ruling to a higher federal court. However, this decision will undoubtedly set a precedent for future legal challenges to similar bans across the country.

In conclusion, the recent ruling by the federal judge declaring the ban on gun possession by marijuana users unconstitutional has opened up a new frontier in the ongoing debate over the rights and restrictions on gun ownership. The decision will continue to be analyzed and discussed by legal experts and the general public as the fight to end the ban and protect the constitutional rights of all citizens continues.

Constitutional And Public Safety Concerns

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