handgun and weed
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Medical Marijuana Policy

Colorado Initiative Would Allow Marijuana Users To Carry A Concealed Gun

handgun and weedWhen it comes to gun rights and marijuana, the two haven’t mixed from a public policy perspective. I remember when the issue first came up in Oregon, which was the first case I ever read about nationwide. Medical marijuana patients in Jackson County and Washington County in Oregon were denied concealed carry permits by the County Sheriffs. There were legal challenges, and the cases went back and forth. Ultimately the court cases were moot because the federal government came out with guidelines forbidding permits for people who consume marijuana. The guidelines have led to outcry from gun owners across the nation who happen to be marijuana consumers (usually medical marijuana consumers).

One state where there have been issues is Colorado. Activists are hoping to change that with an initiative. Per The Cannabist:

The “Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights” is working to put a question on the November 2016 ballot to have Colorado ignore guidelines from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about firearms and pot.

The measure would change state law to prevent sheriffs from denying concealed carry permits because of marijuana use. It’s a new frontier in the marijuana wars, and one that has divided gun-rights activists.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said Edgar Antillon, one of the campaign organizers, who argues that firearms aren’t kept from alcohol drinkers. “Somebody can get extremely drunk — Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and all week if they want — and they can still get a concealed carry permit.”

It would be interesting to see if a federal challenge to the initiative, assuming it succeeded, would overturn it. After all, it’s mainly federal policy that has prevented concealed carry permits to be issued to marijuana consumers. This is absolutely a situation worth monitoring.

  • darthhillbilly

    More and more we see the Federalies at odds with what people say they want. Eventually, when enough pressure is applied, the government will have to take action. My hopes is that the corrupt institution that persecutes/prosecutes nonviolent offenders will concede to reason.(and maybe rainbows will fly out my butt while I belch The Star Spangled Banner) Face it people, marijuana is medicine, government money is wasted to legally discriminate against our brown and black brothers, and no matter how you deny it the times they are a changin’…Free The Weed!!!

    • Acidsex

      “Eventually, when enough pressure is applied, the government will have to take action. ”

      Yeah, thank God the government listened to the people and quit taxing and wasting the public’s tax dollars. Thank God the NSA and CIA quit spying on Americans. Oh wait. They didn’t listen to the people. The government could give a fuck all want the people want.

      • MidwayBill

        The government wants people drunk and stoned so they don’t pay attention to what they are up to.

        • David

          Or shoot one another

        • Jason

          The government wants everyone broke, hungry, divided and scared. Everything else (they want) will fall into place if they succeed with those four. Your statement shows you are here to troll (I was wondering about that with your comment further up the page and you just confirmed it). I can smoke after work and pay attention to what’s going on just fine thank you very much.

          • MidwayBill

            When a people are broke, hungry, divided & scared, the government is worried about it’s own ends. Drugs and alcohol provide an escape for the masses. I may seem a bit jaded, but I have seen government workings for a very long time. It is essentially all about the money for them. The oh so “green” elected officials espouse green transportation. Then they see revenues fall from lagging gasoline sales, they are in a mad scramble to increase taxes elsewhere to make up the shortfall. Here in Washington they actually were going to tax bicycles. Colorado and Washington both are quite giddy over the new revenue from marijuana sales. That is the sole purpose for the legalization of weed. Money in the public coffers. You think you scored a big civil rights victory, but they saw you and your money coming.
            I do not know what you do for work, but here is how things play out for some professions. Here in Washington, medical and recreational pot is now legal. Let’s say a nurse, a physician, or an EMT smoke pot, all legally. Let us say that one of the above professionals makes a mistake in patient care, and the patient dies or is permanently harmed. We all make mistakes. Some small, some big, but we ALL make mistakes. A drug screen is performed after such an event (that too is law, not some corporate policy). If THC is found in the professionals system, they will lose their job, and possibly be open for civil litigation. Now, if one happens to be a burger flipper or a sales associate at the local Birkenstock store, ones marijuana or alcohol use is of little concern to anyone. If you are in a position of great public trust, and you upset someone’s apple cart, you can bet the consequences will be large. Now, your own opinion of how you can function reliably after smoking pot may differ from that of a jury, but it is the opinion and the decision of the jury that really counts at the end of the day. Yep, alcohol is legal, and there are plenty of alcoholics that feel they can function just fine after a few belts. How many of these folks are convicted of vehicular manslaughter? And just like the ever changing laws concerning BAC limits, once they decide on a “safe” limit for THC, that too will likely be lowered in the future. I might mention that a young child was killed over this past Halloween here in Vancouver. The driver that took that child’s life admitted to smoking marijuana not two hours before the accident. I bet he thought his motor skills and judgment were top notch when he got behind the wheel. At least he wasn’t busted for possession of illegal drugs. That was small comfort for the community. Again, your choice. Choose wisely.

      • David

        Wait until the new Congress is in session starting November 5th. You know them. They claim to be the party of ‘small government” the one that nevertheless wants to stop us from doing what we’d like with our own bodies and minds (even as it hurts no one). Barely 1/3 of American voters decided how the other 2/3 will live over the next 2-6 years. This, because the 2/3 majority of citizens either didn’t vote, or were scared off by new voter restrictions..Does this sound democratic to you? It doesn’t to me.

        • Jason

          Yet you want to restrict our right to own guns or carry as we feel to… hum, hypocrite much? Your thinking there is a difference between left and right and freedoms and restrictions shows a serious short sightedness in your understanding of how the actually world works. Government is government and both sides of the aisle are disinterested in you or your wishes. Both sides are controlled by corporate interests because you don’t pay well enough. If there is not profit or control to be gained, government does not care about the common man. Of course you believe that voter ID regulation prevented 2/3s of the voters from voting – funny I thought is was because 2/3s of the voters didn’t even know who lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, much less what they were voting for or against. Most “voters” get their opinion from MSM (all MSM sucks) and just a little research will show the worth of the information they provide. (North Korean hacking of Sony anyone, anyone.) Of course if you live in a Kardashians or Dancing with the Stars type world you wont have a clue what I mean. I am done, tune back into Cupcake Wars, David. Like I said above, I try to allow others their choice of freedom even if I disagree with it and I am about to practice what I preach.

  • If you need more information Richard Feldman works the issue.

  • S Rowan Wilson

    Hilarious as I own a shop, have the Wilson v. Holder national case which started in NV and obtained my CCW in Utah w/ a 30 state reciprocity AFTER I was denied the purchase of a firearm for leaving the question BLANK on the form questioning if “addicted to marijuana” etc. Yep.

  • Leonard Hester

    Get it legal nation wide. Marijuana users have just as much right to defend themselves,, their family and their family’s property as anyone else! No two ways about it!

    • Annie Oakley

      No, you don’t.

    • David

      Can’t one thing in America be separate from gun obsession?

      • Jason

        I hear there are a few places around the globe that you can move and fit right in. Sorry but our Constitution and natural rights cannot be overwritten on a whim. The fact that they are, and constantly, should concern you just as much as your right to consume what you want, when you want, as long as you harm no one else by your actions. Criminalizing all because of the actions of a few (careless or criminal) is how we get stripped of our rights and freedoms, including cannabis use. I am pro rights and freedoms and part of that responsibility is accepting the fact that others may choose to partake in rights and freedoms that I disagree with as long as those rights and freedoms do no harm to others. If they do then punish the individuals for careless or criminal actions.

        • David

          In Washington last November voters put an end to the most egregious and illogical of the gun show loop-holes. There’s not one word mentioned in Amendment II of the U.S.. Constitution regarding the sale of firearms.. Happy New Year.

        • David

          Sorry, I’m not a libertarian. Therefore, I don’t buy into their particular notions nor screeds. The founders were not libertarians either (as many libertarians try to imply). You mentioned moving where I’d “fit right in”. Somalia has been a libertarian wet-dream for years, If that’s where one chooses to live, I don’t. Washington, voters simply closed a gun show loop-hole. The founder’s said nothing regarding individual gun sales. .

          • Jason

            Quote … “the federal government came out with guidelines forbidding (CCW) permits for people who consume marijuana.”
            Why are you referring to gun show loopholes? Who said the founders were libertarians? They sure as heck were not statists or anarchists but somewhere in the middle with bias just like we have today. They just chose to work together instead of poking at each other trying to stir shit up… And a happy new year to you also David.

        • David

          Sorry, I’m not a libertarian. Therefore I don’t buy what they’re selling. However, what you’re describing sounds more like modern Somalia than the modern United States. I don’t recommend living in Somalia.

          • Jason

            Somalia? now I know you are missing something. I suppose you buy into the idea that legalizing cannabis will cause the US to dissolve into a crime ridden cesspool. Again your analogy is lacking.

        • David

          Although I disagree with your antiquated libertarian view, no one (including myself) is trying to stop you from doing as you please. as long as doing so harms no one else. Where though, does one persons nose end and another’s begin, In such an increasingly crowded, technological world?

          • Jason

            Antiquated? surely you jest. If you cant figure it out then nothing I can say will explain it to you and that is part of the problem with what we are becoming as a society. Soon enough everything will be illegal because everyones nose is allowed to intrude into every one elses life. As far as labeling goes, trying to pigeon hole someone into a label is just as bad as stereotyping all cannabis users as Cheech and Chong basement dwelling stoners or blacks as criminals. Talk about antiquated views.

  • Isaac Chase

    Thanks for noticing! We need as much press as we can get.

    Isaac Chase
    Co – Director of Colorado Campaign For Equal Gun Rights

  • Annie Oakley

    Thanks for the warning. I’ll be asking my state representative to introduce legislation that removes CWP reciprocity from any state that issues CWPs to marijuana users because THC is such a persistent intoxicant.

    • David

      For those of us unfamiliar with gun lingo what is a CWP ? Thanks. Happy New Year.

  • David

    Guns are an issue where Coloradans and Washingtonians often part ways culturally . Washingtonians are more like Canadians on this issue than Americans.

  • MidwayBill

    Two words. Personal liability. Everyone is missing the boat here. Alcohol and weed are tossed around like they are interchangeable, and they are not. The only commonality is they are both intoxicants. Regardless of what the law says (yeah, everyone whines because you can get a concealed carry license if you drink booze), if you are drunk or stoned and carrying, you are being irresponsible and in most cases criminally negligent. Why do we carry concealed? For self protection. When you carry concealed, you had better be at the top of your game, mentally, physically, and emotionally. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a self defense situation, you need to know exactly what to do and when to do it. If you are intoxicated, you have poor judgment, and that will get you in plenty of legal trouble, if not killed. Worse yet, if you discharge a firearm in a situation that doesn’t warrant it, there are legal penalties. You had better hope that you do not injure or kill someone in a situation like that. That will certainly alter your reality. A terminal case of “Cranial- Rectal Inversion Syndrome”. If you do happen to kill or injure someone, there is also the level of intoxicant in your body to consider. Alcohol metabolizes much faster than THC. THC can stay in your fat tissue for upwards of thirty days, whereas alcohol will be gone in no more than 24 hours (unless you are a professional drinker). Your level of impairment will be looked at by any good barrister representing a “shooting victim” for damages.
    Any gun clubs I have been a member of over my sixty years on this earth have not allowed the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on the grounds. There is a reason for that. Guns and alcohol do not mix, and I can assure you that pot and guns will not pair any better. I care not a whit what the law might say. If you are packing heat, you had better think long and hard of the responsibilities associated with that. Given the right circumstances, the once “Hip” pot smoker will be looked upon just like a common drunk. You will be hounded out of fashion.

    • David

      I tried to give you an up arrow for your excellently written posting. Maybe the length precluded my doing so. anyway it was worth every written word . Happy New year

    • Jason

      Cannabis stays in your system for a month or more… So let me clarify, are you saying that I should not be allowed to carry because I smoked a joint a month ago? Responsibility says you don’t carry while you are stoned any more than while you are drunk but removing the right to carry simply because you have traces of THC in your system from previous use is unrealistic. This is another reason to research a viable and reasonable method to measure level of intoxication for cannabis users as a defense for users and victims of users actions alike. Maybe I misunderstand you but it sure seems like you are pro-restriction for gun owner-cannabis users rights? Not picking a fight just not understand exactly what you represent.

      • MidwayBill

        Jason, what I am representing here is personal responsibility. Every day we get out of bed and we engage in risk assessment, whether we know it or not. From driving a car to work or play, or putting on a sidearm for personal protection. There are going to be legal risks that must be assessed when carrying concealed, and being unimpaired is one of them. Right now just about every school child knows what the legal limit is for blood alcohol, but what is it for pot? This is a brave new world legally speaking. I really don’t champion the government getting involved in every step we take in our personal lives, but there are some issues I see that will rear up if not addressed. Let us just say that Joe smoked some pot, a couple of joints last week. He straps on his trusty heat this morning and goes out about his daily business. He gets jumped. He feels his life is threatened, and he draws down and kills a man. Fast forward. The mans family feels the killing was unjustified. A sobriety test was done by the police, and tests show Joe had x amount of THC in his system. Next thing we know, Joe is spending a lot of time and money in court defending himself. The familys’ attorney argues that Joe was in no mental condition to be carrying a firearm. The arguments go back and forth. Regardless if Joe wins or loses, it is going to cost him a lot of money. He may or may not have been “At the top of his game”, but there will be consequences nonetheless. I am not saying you should not be allowed to carry. what I am saying is, be aware of every conceivable thing that can go against you, and then make your own choice. Choose wisely.

        • Jason

          I follow the responsibility part but as I stated there needs to be more research into viable testing for intoxication not just traces thereby protecting the user and the “victim”. You keep referencing scenarios that show the problem with current laws and regulations, which I understand, but it also is what this initiative is fighting to fix… the problems with the current laws. Your comment is correct but it sounds very much like the legislators in my area that use it as an excuse to prohibit you from even owning a gun much less CCW if you are a medical user. I follow you now but it sure sounded like you were supporting prohibiting cannabis consumers from possession and carrying just because they were cannabis users.