Medical marijuana prescription prohibits gun possession

Local News

Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, however having a prescription makes it illegal to possess a firearm under federal law.

On the license to carry application it asks if the applicant is an unlawful user of marijuana.

“When the applicants come and fill out the applications, and they check the box that they’re an unlawful user of marijuana, obviously I have to reject that applicant,” Clearfield County Sheriff Mike Churner said.

Since firearms regulations fall under federal law, it makes it illegal to have a permit, purchase, and even possess a firearm, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

However, Churner said most people who come in don’t know medical marijuana is an unlawful use, which creates problems for his office.

“Those applicants are checking a box that no they’re not an unlawful user when they’re applying for permits, and if I don’t know, they’re generally going to be issued a permit,” Churner said.

He said for those who already have a permit then later get a medical marijuana card should surrender their permit.

There’s not much the sheriff’s office can do to enforce this law.

Right now, the sheriff’s office depends on people’s honesty when filling out an application– since law enforcement does not have access to a database listing those who have medical marijuana cards.

“They’re not sharing it with us, so we don’t know who out there is prescribed marijuana and it’s a gray area that really needs to be examined and addressed,” Churning said.

One way law enforcement can tell if you have a firearms permit and use medical marijuana is if you’re caught under the influence.

If that happens, that your guns could be taken away in court.

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