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PA State Police: If You Want Medical Marijuana, Give Up Your Guns

A statement from the Pennsylvania State Police has been receiving a ton of attention, and the state’s residents are confused by what they have to say. In short, there’s some disagreement between federal and state laws when it comes to owning a firearm and being eligible to receive medical marijuana.

As such, the cops have attempted to provide some clarity, but what they recommend is being called into question. As The Blaze shares, the statement appeared on the website of the Pennsylvania State Police.

“It is unlawful for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and you should consult an attorney about the best way to dispose of your firearms,” the statement read in part.

State police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski provided some additional clarity on the statement, and he recommends that those that may be confused should consult an attorney.

“It’s unlawful to keep possession of firearms obtained prior to registering,” he said. “The Pennsylvania State Police is not in the business of offering legal advice, but it might be a good idea to contact an attorney about how best to dispose of their firearms.”

Criminal defense attorney Patrick Nightingale is among those that have spoken out against the statement, and he makes it clear that he feels the police are overstepping their bounds in this case.

“It disturbs me greatly to see the Pennsylvania State Police put on their website references to federal law while ignoring the fact that it is legal under Pennsylvania law,” he said.

“Firearms are woven into the fabric of our country. It’s the second most important right in the Bill of Rights.”

The confusion reigns due to a disconnect between state and federal law. Pennsylvania permits the use of medical marijuana, and there’s nothing that prevents those that seek it from owning a firearm as well.

However, federal law basically says that medical marijuana cardholders are prohibited from attempting to purchase firearms.

To make things even more confusing, state police can’t enforce federal law barring a specific statute that expressly permits them to. According to state law, the state police are allowed to make arrests “for all violations of the law,” but there’s no specific notation as to whether that includes federal law or not.

Attorney Andrew Sacks, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee, is also not a big fan of the department’s statement.

“It’s hypocritical. You can be an opioid addict, or buy a bottle of rum, drink it and go to a store and buy one,” Sacks said.

“But a person who is registered as a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, and has a very small dosage of THC, can’t own a gun to protect themselves or hunt.”

It’s unclear what the ultimate resolution of this situation will be, but you can be certain that this is not the last time that attorneys are called in to give things a once over. Quite simply, there’s a disconnect between state and federal law on all kinds of things, and that can lead to a ton of confusion.

In this case, we’re talking about two hot-button issues, so perhaps there will be some actual resolution that will provide clarity for the state’s residents.

Source: The Blaze
Photo: Facebook, YouTube

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