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Marijuana and Gun Ownership

Marijuana and Gun Ownership
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In the United States, few issues sit as uniquely at the crossroads of cultural, legal, and ethical debate as marijuana use and gun ownership. As states across the nation continue to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, the federal government has maintained an intolerant stance toward the drug.

In this article, we’ll explore the nuances of this issue, shedding light on relevant legislation, how it impacts individuals and communities, and the ongoing debate between state and federal jurisdictions. Join us as we untangle the complex web of policies and perspectives that surround marijuana use and gun ownership in the U.S.

Is Marijuana Use While Owning a Gun Illegal Under U.S. Law?

Under federal law, it’s illegal for a marijuana user to possess a firearm. Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, and federal law prohibits drug users from buying or possessing firearms or ammunition. This includes individuals with medical marijuana cards and those residing in states where recreational weed use is legal.

Does a Medical Marijuana Card Invalidate a Gun License?

According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, individuals who are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance, including marijuana, are prohibited from buying or possessing firearms or ammunition. This federal stance means that, regardless of your state’s marijuana laws, obtaining a medical marijuana card will indeed invalidate your gun license.

Can You Own a Gun in Pennsylvania if You Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

Under federal law, individuals who are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. This federal prohibition applies regardless of whether you live in a state that has legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana.

Consequently, Pennsylvania residents with medical marijuana cards are prohibited from buying or owning guns by federal law.

Can You Buy a Gun After Your Medical Card Expires in PA?

Even after your PA medical marijuana card expires, federal law will prohibit you from purchasing or possessing a firearm for one year. Only once that prohibition period ends will you be able to legally buy and own firearms.

Can You Own a Gun in Florida

Can You Own a Gun in Florida if You Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

While it’s federally illegal for marijuana users to buy or own firearms, Florida’s State Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services asserted in 2019 that the state would not take action against medical marijuana users with concealed carry permits for carrying concealed firearms.

That said, Florida cardholders cannot legally purchase firearms without lying on the federal background check form, which is a felony offense.

Can You Own a Gun After Your Medical Card Expires in Florida?

As soon as your Florida medical marijuana card expires and you stop using medical cannabis, you can legally own and purchase firearms again.

What Is the ATF Question on the Marijuana Form?

The ATF question on the marijuana form refers to a specific question by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the Federal Firearms Transaction Record, also known as Form 4473. This question asks the applicant whether they are an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

While marijuana may be legal for medicinal or recreational use in many states, it remains a controlled substance under federal law. An affirmative answer to this question will disqualify you from purchasing a firearm.


Despite the growing acceptance and legalization of marijuana at the state level, federal laws remain stringent, creating a paradoxical situation where activity that may be lawful in your state can still carry severe federal consequences. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the legal implications of your choices when weighing medical marijuana use and gun ownership.

If you have a qualifying condition, the Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help you obtain a medical marijuana card. Not only can we connect you with a certified doctor who can certify you for medical marijuana treatment, but we can guide you through the process of applying for an MMJ card in your state.

Book an appointment today to discover whether you’re eligible for medical cannabis treatment.

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