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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 04/22/2021 in Firearms

How Hemp Affects Your Second Amendment Rights in Missouri

How Hemp Affects Your Second Amendment Rights in Missouri

Marijuana or hemp is illegal for recreational use in Missouri. However, in 2018, Missouri voters voted to legalized marijuana for medical use. The plant became legally available for legal use within the state in 2020. However, if you are a licensed gun owner, using medical hemp is a decision you should consider very carefully. Possessing a medical marijuana card may bar you from ever owning firearms. 

Use of the Medical Marijuana Card  

To use hemp, an individual must first obtain a medical marijuana card. The card identifies the holder as someone who has a qualifying medical condition and is authorized to use hemp. The individual's name remains in a medical database allowing dispensaries to cross-check it when issuing hemp. 

The database could be a lifeline for a person caught with hemp in their possession without their medical marijuana card. But it can also create potential problems for a gun owner involved in a gun-related incident.

Medical Marijuana and Missouri State and Federal Laws 

Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution authorizes the use of hemp. The state constitution does not mention firearm ownership, purchase, sale, or use. However, guidance at the federal level is far less vague. 

Despite being legalized for medical purposes in many states, hemp remains an illegal narcotic at the federal level. At the federal level, Medical marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug. Drugs under this schedule are highly addictive and offer no discernible medical benefit. For context, other drugs under this schedule include heroin and ecstasy. 

U.S. Public Law 90-618, otherwise known as the Gun Control Act of 1968, goes even further. It specifically forbids a person from buying or owning a firearm or ammunition if he or she uses marijuana. Missouri does not require a permit to purchase a firearm. But gun owners must have a valid permit to carry their firearm across state lines. The permit application asks the applicant whether they've used marijuana. Answering yes disqualifies the applicant. 

If you decide to obtain a medical marijuana card, owning the card implies you use marijuana. And if you already own a firearm, the Gun Control Act implies that you should transfer ownership of that weapon before using hemp. Ideally, you should try to do this before obtaining your medical marijuana card and certainly before obtaining any hemp. 

Using hemp while owning a firearm has serious legal consequences. To stay on the right side of the law, be prudent and err on the side of caution. Be proactive by staying informed of the law to ensure you are making the right decision. And seek answers for specific questions concerning firearms and marijuana use from your local law enforcement agency or an attorney.

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