Guns and Weed Possession Challenge

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by FullClip, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    I don't know if this is the first time somebody has challenged the law, but it's the first time I have heard of it. With pot now "legal" here in Maine and a lot of other states, I am surprised there hasn't been a lot of cases like this.
    The link is to a subscription site, but you get 4 "free" views from the leftist propoganda rag here in Bangor that poses as a news site.

    Bucksport man challenges law that barred him from having a gun because of marijuana possession

    https://bangordailynews.com/2019/10...having-a-gun-because-of-marijuana-possession/

    When a Maine State Police trooper pulled Richard Tonini over for a traffic infraction in July 2018, he found 5½ ounces of marijuana, $5,000 cash and two handguns in Tonini’s car.

    He faced two charges — unlawfully furnishing scheduled drugs and possession of firearms prohibited for certain persons. A Hancock County jury earlier this year found Tonini not guilty of the drug furnishing charge but guilty of the firearms possession charge.

    Now, Tonini, 58, of Bucksport is challenging the law behind that firearm possession charge, calling it “unconstitutionally vague” because it effectively prohibited someone in possession of marijuana — a certified medical marijuana patient who can legally possess up to 8 pounds of the substance — from possessing a firearm.

    Tonini’s attorney, Max Coolidge of Ellsworth, has appealed the conviction — for which Tonini had to pay a $350 fine — to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In a 29-page brief filed in late September, Coolidge wrote that the law Tonini was found guilty of violating is a “vague criminal statute” that “violates due process because it fails to give citizens effective notice of prohibited conduct.”

    The law in question prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm who “is an unlawful user of or is addicted to any controlled substance and as a result is prohibited from possession of a firearm” under federal law.

    In his brief, Coolidge argues that the law does not provide people with fair notice that they could be barred from owning firearms, and he writes that the law’s vague language could “encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.”

    “To the contrary, a majority of voters has acted to legalize such use and the Legislature has taken steps to develop a regulatory framework for a marijuana industry in Maine,” he wrote. “Under current law pertaining to the use and possession of marijuana, the State of Maine has no compelling interest in preventing marijuana users from exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

    It is important to note that Tonini was never found to be addicted to or to have used marijuana, Coolidge wrote.

    According to jury trial transcripts, the arresting officer, Trooper Travis Chapman of the Maine State Police, “did not observe any signs that Tonini was or had recently been using marijuana. Tonini did not appear intoxicated. Chapman did not smell smoke or observe any pipes or other smoking paraphernalia,” Coolidge wrote.

    Voters approved legal adult-use marijuana at the polls in November 2016. Years before, in 1999, Maine had passed a law allowing medical use of marijuana.

    Given the not guilty finding on the drug furnishing charge and Maine’s laws allowing use and possession of marijuana, Tonini’s “underlying conduct — the medicinal or recreational use of marijuana — is not objectionable to the state and does not rise to the level of a public safety concern that would justify a total ban on firearms for the affected class of persons,” Coolidge wrote in his brief.

    Tonini told Chapman that, as a certified medical marijuana patient, he was allowed to have 8 pounds of marijuana.

    Hancock County Deputy District Attorney Toff Toffolon is scheduled to file a brief in response by mid-November. District Attorney Matthew Foster declined to comment on the matter on Tuesday.

    If the court ultimately sides with Coolidge, Tonini will have the $350 fine he paid returned to him and his record cleared of the episode, Coolidge said.
     
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  2. nmglock

    nmglock

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    My opinion is if you want to smoke dope you can't have a gun, period. Can't have your cake and eat it too! This whole medical marijuana crap is BS, just an excuse to get high legally.
     
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  3. nerr

    nerr

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    I've wondered about that. My state has not legalized pot yet, so doesn't matter for us. Especially weird if the arresting officer said Tonini did not exhibit any symptoms of impairment or even recent use.

    Unless the Maine cops there are really bored, wonder what traffic violation caused the stop. Maybe a 1-fingered manual turn indication as he drove by the cop?
     
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  4. Ramjet38

    Ramjet38 Mentally Frozen

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    What led to the search in the first place? Trooper didn't smell anything, or see any impairment?
     
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  5. Grabbrass

    Grabbrass

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    2nd Amendment says the right shall not be infringed. This is definitely an infringement. It's not the only one a lot of gun owners seem to be quite comfortable with, either.
     
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  6. Lagamor

    Lagamor

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    This has just been a matter of time. If you agree or disagree with legalization, marijuana should have never been placed on the Sch 1 list with heroin and the likes.
     
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  7. CowboyCarp

    CowboyCarp

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    Should a person be allowed to possess a firearm if they drink or are in possession of alcohol? I’m not talking about while under the influence, which it sounds like this man was not, but just having alcohol. You are allowed to own alcohol and a gun at the same time, so why not marijuana? Alcohol is also an impairing substance that affects judgement and motor skills, more so, in fact, than marijuana does. It’s also addicting. If you can have a gun and own alcohol, you should also be allowed to have a gun and own pot, if your state legally allows it. As long as you are not in possession of the firearm while under the influence of either, I don’t see the problem. This is infringement, plain and simple.
     
  8. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Do any states ban possession or use of a firearm if you have any alcohol in your system? Or even having alcohol containers in the same vehicle that has a firearm in it?
     
  9. nerr

    nerr

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    In NE but only when concealed carrying (can't even have it on your breath).
     
  10. amd65

    amd65

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    Please tell me...
    What good is having your cake, and not being able to eat it?
    Just wondering.
     
  11. BOOSTED12A

    BOOSTED12A

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    This is the problem with the fed laws...if the state legalizes it fine. Other laws should be changed/ reworded to address the legalization. I hope the guy wins. But...I don't see this going well if it were to make it to scotus.
     
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  12. Von Hayes

    Von Hayes

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    I dont have no guns.
     
  13. NMG26

    NMG26

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    Hell yes, challenge the law
     
  14. pgg00

    pgg00

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    There was a case several years ago on the west coast (Nevada I believe) where the federal courts ruled the possession of simply a MJ medical card was enough to prevent you from purchasing a firearm. Also remember Hawaii started comparing MJ cards against those with firearms registered and confiscating firearms based on this.
     
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  15. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    I met with a leading gun rights lawyer a couple of weeks ago.

    He covered MJ specifically. Any use of MJ, even if you have a medical MJ card disqualifies you from firearm ownership.

    He cited several recent example where purchases were blocked and firearms having to being removed from the household.
     
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  16. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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  17. Pluto57

    Pluto57

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    The difference is that there is no longer a federal law making alcohol illegal. The states can choose to make pot legal, but that doesn't change the federal statutes, especially regarding being able to possess or buy a firearm if you are an illegal drug user. It is pretty difficult to argue that you don't use marijuana if you have a medical marijuana card.
     
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  18. badge315

    badge315

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    By "any use", does that mean anyone who has ever used MJ is permanently barred from owning a firearm?
     
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  19. CowboyCarp

    CowboyCarp

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    I think my point is that marijuana should probably be legalized at a federal level at this point. I don’t smoke pot or anything, as the military doesn’t allow it. But from what I know, alcohol is a lot more dangerous and addictive than pot is. It’s pretty archaic to still consider pot in the same category as heroin, meth, etc. Additionally, if states can legislate more or less restrictive laws regarding firearms ownership (for example, handgun rosters, magazine limits, carry permits, etc.) they should be able to definitively say that if medicinal or recreational marijuana use is legal in the state, it doesn’t effect firearms ownership in that state. As I understand the law, using or being addicted to illegal substances disqualifies you from owning a gun. However, if pot is legal in that state you aren’t using an illegal substance, and it’s not a substance that is inherently addicting. Again, alcohol is much more addicting and dangerous than marijuana.
     
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  20. jimcorbin

    jimcorbin

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    It doesn’t matter if weed or other drugs are legalized. That’s not the issue, gun laws are the issue. The most important thing to remember here is that the constitution states, Shall not be infringed.