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Medical Marijuana Cards and Guns in Michigan

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.54.30 PMIn 2008 the State of Michigan passed the the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.  

This Act put into law that people in Michigan who use Marijuana within the bounds of that law are protected from prosecution in Michigan courts.  However, the same does not hold true for the Federal courts.  Marijuana use, even for medical purposes, is still completely illegal in the eyes of Federal Law.

This creates a problem for those who wish to purchase and possess firearms or get a Michigan Concealed Pistol license if they possess a Medical Marijuana Card and are a user of Marijuana.

The federal statute prohibits certain classes of individuals from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.  One of those classes includes people who are unlawful users of, or addicted to, any controlled substance and marijuana falls into that category.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), “Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana for medicinal purposes is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition”.

Therefore, those individuals who possess a Medical Marijuana Card, as a user, in Michigan as a user may not  legally purchase or own a handgun or ammunition. 

CLICK HERE to read the ATF letter to all Federal Firearms dealers with regard to their stance on marijuana.

Anyone buying from or transferring a firearm through an FFL will have to fill out a ATF Form 4473 in order to complete the sale/transfer.

Question 11.e on the 4473 form asks if the person filling out the background check is “An unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana” among other controlled substances. It has a new warning that points out that marijuana use remains “Unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes” under state law.

This statement reflects the ATF’s longstanding position that local laws don’t supersede the federal laws the ATF is tasked to interpret and enforce. As long as there are federal laws that criminalize the consumption or possession of marijuana it will be illegal for cannabis users to purchase firearms.


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