On August 31st, 2016 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in Wilson v. Lynch that banning gun sales to people who hold medical marijuana cards, whether or not they actually use marijuana, does not violate their Second Amendment rights.
In that decision the Court noted, “The Government argues that empirical data and legislative determinations support a strong link between drug use and violence.”
Using the Court’s logic, everyone who has ever attended a Marijuana Rally may be assumed to be a user of Marijuana and, therefore, violent. Does the empirical data support that logic when it comes to Marijuana, though? Granted, there is violence in the Marijuana Trade, but let’s be realistic. That violence is the result of the Love of Money, not Marijuana use. So how does being a Marijuana user make one dangerous?
The Reality of Experience
I didn’t begin using Marijuana until I was 20 and was already in the military. I smoked it until I was about 33 and quit for strictly financial reasons. During the time I smoked it I bore arms as a Security Augmenter. The opportunity to use those arms was certainly there, but my Marijuana use didn’t predispose me to violence any more than it did the hundreds of thousands of other military members who have used it in the past and continue to use it today.
After I retired from the military I became a Peace Officer, retiring after 15 years as a Chief Deputy. During that entire time I never once had a violent encounter with someone who was strictly a cannabis user. As a matter of fact, I found the opposite. When I worked in the jail, the guys who came in stoned were the most fun to book and the easiest to deal with. The majority of them had less-than-an-ounce possession charges and knew they’d be bonded out within a couple of hours. They were rational, calm people. I can’t say that for the drunks. I found this to be true throughout my Law Enforcement career.
After reaching Social Security Retirement age, I did, and was reintroduced to Marijuana. I’ve been using it ever since. In my entire adult life (all young brothers fight), I’ve never committed a violent act that was not in response to violence offered to me, and we ALL have the Right to defend ourselves.
Violent Marijuana Rallies
How many Pro-Marijuana rallies do you suppose there have been in the U.S. since the 60s? I’d guess in the tens of thousands at a minimum. I can only find one time there has been any gun violence associated with a cannabis event. This occurred on 4/20 2013 in Denver when three people were wounded. The Denver Police discovered that particular shooting involved an argument between two rival gang members that were attending a concert, though. It had nothing to do with Marijuana.
Now that doesn’t include Kent State, but that was an anti-war protest by “Hippies” who the Nixon Administration associated with Marijuana. It doesn’t count, anyway, since the Government perpetrated the gun violence that day, not the Marijuana Hippies. Four Dead In Ohio.
What Sam Said
So, are not Marijuana users “peaceable citizens”? I certainly am. As a matter of fact, I find that every Marijuana user I know is peaceable. Personally, Marijuana makes me want to get along with everyone. I help those needy that are put in my path, I love my family and friends, I love my Country, (or at least I love the Ideal my Country was founded on) and other than my Marijuana usage I am a law-abiding citizen. Hell, I even like cops (well, most of them). What is it about my Marijuana usage that makes my government consider me violent?
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
In his “Rough Draft” of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness“. Notice he uses “preservation” of life & liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Preservation of all three rights!!
Unfortunately, our Right to the pursuit of happiness through the use of a natural plant has been unjustly criminalized. Through this criminalization, the Federal Government already denies us our Liberty. Now they would deny us the means with which to preserve our Lives if the need arose.
A Stark Fact
A 2013 meta-analysis of 23 independent studies, published in Sage Journals, concluded:
“On average, 48% of homicide offenders were reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offense and 37% were intoxicated”.
Yet one can walk into a gun store with liquor on one’s breath and buy a weapon. Hypocrisy!
One Can Hope
This was a ruling by a District Court. It will surely be challenged at some point. When that time comes, we can hope that the SCOTUS takes a different approach to the issue. In the meantime, Thomas Jefferson (himself a Hemp farmer) and Samuel Adams will continue to spin in their graves at what has become of America.