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Interesting Legal CCW Question

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by unit1069, Aug 1, 2012.

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  1. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I just learned that a friend who lives in Arizona was diagnosed with cancer; doctors told him it was a combination of years of cigarette smoking/alcohol which my friend said he quit both habits immediately.

    My friend has a CCW license and in our conversation he also said he received a medical marijuana prescription which he takes via brownies or other non-inhalant methods.

    The question is, does anyone know if he ever had to use his weapon in self-defense if the marijuana/drug issue would be a factor? I lean towards caution and think it would due to possible mental impairment, but in the uncertain political world we live in presently I think this is a tough call as long as all other factors weigh in on the side of the defender.
  2. grmnracing


    Oct 10, 2010
    A lawyer can and will make a big deal about that. Lawyers will/ can make a point about anything. Gun mods, etc. Doesn't mean anything unless the jury goes for the tactics.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

  3. ojabog


    Oct 5, 2011
    I think your friend would get in big trouble. Alcohol and prescribed meds are legal, but under the influence is under the influence. No cop or ADA is going to any you any slack when a firearm is involved.
  4. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Of course it could be a problem. No different than if a person was on pain killers legally. Impairment is impairment.
  5. jmchaney


    Apr 4, 2011
    Can you explain why, someone under the influence has no right to defend himself from an attack?
  6. Numismatist

    Numismatist 5-Stand!

    Nov 2, 2011
    Coast of Maine
    No, but common sense and legal are two different things...
  7. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!

    Feb 15, 2012
    Unfortunately your friend wouldn't even have to use a gun. Possession alone under those circumstances is a violation of Federal Law.

    Here's a link to the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners website showing a letter from ATFE to dealers dated September 21, 2011 concerning that very issue. The third paragraph of the letter covers that.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  8. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Exactly this...

    Kind of like if you're taking a prescription pain killer and driving... You're still driving under the influence. The fact you have a legitimate prescription means nothing.
  9. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Frankly, I wouldn't want someone under the influence to be carrying guns, etc. I'm not saying they don't have the right to defend themselves, but restricting them on the carrying of a firearm is logical in my opinion.

    Being under the influence can often impair judgement. I don't want some "medicinal marijuana user" seeing me walk to my car and think I'm going to rob him and decide he needs to start shooting at me.
  10. Glock_9mm


    Jul 10, 2012
    Probably wouldn't be a good idea to be carrying when he picks up his MM prescription. IMO, if he wants to do both, I would consult an attorney to find out the specifics. Scott
  11. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    CA Escapee has it right. Federally, your friend is a prohibited possessor.
  12. dhoomonyou


    Mar 20, 2002
    Dont lose sight of the big picture.
    Dude has cancer
    A theoretical shooting is perhaps the least of his problems.
    Prayers are with him.
  13. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    Thanks for the replies. I'm still of the opinion that he's taking on too much legal burden by carrying if he's under the influence of any kind. But I also sympathize with his need to defend himself while he's undergoing chemo.

    I will advise him to go unarmed, but it's his decision and I'm sure he'll consider that the worries of his health problems shouldn't be additionally troubled with the thought that he might incur tremendous legal burdens as well. Even if he's not involved in a life-or-death encounter.

    Like someone mentioned, just being on the premises of a MJ dispensary with a loaded pistol is illegal. Better in my mind to be safe rather than to be sorry.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  14. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

    Nov 9, 2008
    I read the letter, and I agree that it says what it says,but I question the validity of what it says. It consistently qoutes the law as saying the "unlawful use of a controlled substance." If MM has been found to be legal with valid RX in whatever state a person is in, then I should think that the use in that case is lawful. Verdad?
  15. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Apples and oranges. The state may call it legal, but they aren't charging him. Federally, it's illegal, there is no US Code that allows medical marijuana. That's where he'll be charged.
  16. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    I did find a mistake on their reciprocity map,they show Vermont as not honoring Colorado s permit.

    Vermont is a Constitutional Carry state,no permit needed.
    What this means is any person,not a felon and 21 years of age,while in the borders of the state of Vermont can carry concealed.
    Much as the founders intended when they wrote the US Constitution. SJ 40
  17. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    Marijuana and guns, perfect together! What's next? Jerry Sandusky and Viagra! :freak:

    Marijuana has been clinically proven to impair mental functioning and alter mood. It's usefulness as a painkiller is limited. If you're dying buddy is all doped up on a psychedelic drug then he shouldn't be carrying a deadly weapon around with him. I've got plenty of neighbors who do exactly that; and, yesterday morning another one of them stupidly shot an unarmed fellow doper right in the middle of another one of their drug deals. Really had the neighborhood buzzing; and kept over fifty cops busy for most of the day.

    (If you can't think straight and your emotional responses are askew then give up the gun; and, yes, this is an example of how you can't have your brownie and eat it too.)
  18. BobbyT


    Jul 27, 2008
    The simple view is that the state of mind you intentionally put yourself in is neither an excuse for bad behavior nor a disqualifier of good behavior.

    If I get drunk and do something that's already wrong, whether it's assault with my fists or homicide with a gun or car, both the alcohol and the crime were my choice so I'm guilty.

    If I'm enjoying a beer at home when a thug kicks in my door, I do not suddenly lose the right to defend myself and my shot is no less of a good one.

    CCW and medical marijuana should be no different: it doesn't excuse anything stupid you do, and it doesn't obligate you to lay down and die.
  19. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    What Sam said above.

    Didn't you catch some of the news segments a few years back about the DEA raiding the medical marijuana dispensaries in California under federal law even though under California state law it was legal? Same concept.
  20. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    Doh ?
    "At home" vs. "in public" are two different situations. "At home" would be much easier to defend. In many states, a BAC over the legal limit for DUI and possession of a firearm even with a permit is a BFD. The same doesn't apply at home.

    While THC is technically a psychedelic, it is a far cry from a hallucinogenic. In medical use, it is rarely used as a 'pain killer', it is used for treatment of nausea, vomiting, hunger stimulation and lowering of interocular pressure.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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