A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled that federal law prohibiting people who use marijuana from owning firearms is unconstitutional.
Jared Michael Harrison was arrested in May 2022 following a traffic stop. Police uncovered a loaded revolver as well as marijuna in his car. Harrison told the police that he had been on his way back to work at a medical marijuana dispensary, but did not have a state-issued medical-marijuana card.
Lawyers for Harrison had argued that their client’s Second Amendment rights to bear arms was being violated by a federal law that makes it illegal for “unlawful users or addicts of controlled substances” to possess firearms, but that the law does not apply to someone using marijuana for medical purposes.
Harrison’s lawyers have argued that the law is inconsistent with the historical tradition of firearms regulation, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen case, which set new standards for interpreting the Second Amendment.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick in Oklahoma City agreed with Harrison’s lawyers, ruling on Friday that federal prosecutors’ arguments that Harrison’s status as a marijuana user “justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm … is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison.”
“…the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports,” said Wyrick.
Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma but still a felony at the federal level, which prevents anyone caught with marijuana from owning a firearm, even when marijuana is prescribed for medicinal purposes.
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