U.S. Senators step up to protect medical marijuana patients, gun owners


Last month, pot activists cheered as the U.S. House approved an amendment to a spending bill that will end funding for U.S. Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana operations and patients otherwise following their state law.
Now a companion amendment in the U.S. Senate has found traction with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrat Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. A second senate amendment sponsored by Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat from Montana, would protect patients in medical cannabis states from prosecution for firearms possession and use.

In 2011 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released a statement making their answer clear: “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use 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.”
Walsh’s amendment to the House appropriations bill addresses the issue that many Western medical cannabis users face: my medicine or my hunting weapons?
“This measure will ensure that patients can hunt, purchase ammunition and protect their homes without fear of prosecution,” Walsh said in an statement to U.S. News and World Report.
The Marijuana Policy Project cheered the move and commended Walsh for standing up for patient hunters.
Montanans take their Second Amendment rights very seriously and hunting is an important part of our heritage and culture,” Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst for MPP said in a statement.