A medical marijuana patient has brought suit against the Trump Administration, arguing that a federal law that prevents Federal Firearm License holders from selling guns to medical marijuana users is unconstitutional.
A team of lawyers representing Dr. Matthew Roman sued the heads of the Justice Department, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a Philadelphia federal court, aiming to eliminate the restrictions preventing medical marijuana users from legally owning guns, The Washington Times reports. Dr. Roman, a medical doctor, uses medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in accordance with Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program, one of 33 states that permit the practice despite federal prohibition.
Regardless of state laws, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a division of the Justice Department, classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin and hallucinogenics like LSD. It is this continued listing in the Controlled Substances Act that prevents FFL holders from selling firearms to medical marijuana patients. This classification has come under scrutiny in recent years as part of the qualification is that a substance has no medical value for treatment or research to be Schedule I.
When Dr. Roman tried to purchase a handgun, he was denied as “an unlawful user” of marijuana, as defined by the federal statute. The disclosure came about as part of the Form 4473 required to purchase firearms in the United States.
“Dr. Roman truthfully answered that he did have a medical cannabis card, and the staff member responded that it was not legal under federal law to have a medical cannabis card and purchase a weapon,” Dr. Roman’s lawyer John K. Weston wrote in the lawsuit.
The suit further alleges that the existing federal laws “unconstitutionally prohibit law-abiding citizens who have enrolled in state medical cannabis programs from purchasing a firearm,” denying citizens their Second Amendment right to gun ownership and Fifth Amendment rights to due process.
The Washington Times reports the suit goes on to state, “This strict, rigid, blanket prohibition violated the fundamental constitutional rights of tens of thousands of non-violent, law-abiding citizens, and is thus violates the Second and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.”